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Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Former President Blaise COMPAORE (1987-2014) resigned in late October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the Constitution's two-term presidential limit. By mid-November, a framework for an interim government was adopted under the terms of the National Transition Charter. An interim administration, led by President Michel KAFANDO and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac ZIDA, began organizing presidential and legislative elections planned for October 2015, but these were postponed during a weeklong failed coup in September. The rescheduled elections were held on 29 November, and Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president in the first round. Burkina Faso's high population growth and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.


Western Africa, north of Ghana

Natural Resources

manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt

Population - distribution

the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country; the east, north, and southwest are less populated

French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 2.741 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Conventional short form
Burkina Faso
Local long form
Local short form
Burkina Faso
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
12 22 N, 1 31 W
Time difference
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base.
External debt stocks
US$ 2,626,926,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -997,625,572
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 4,530,985,584
Exports of goods and services
US$ 3,049,479,250
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 167,397,329
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 426,647,695
cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
gold, cotton, livestock
Switzerland 53.2%, India 14.8% (2015)
capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
Cote dIvoire 23.3%, France 11.1%, Togo 7.6%, China 4.8%, Ghana 4.6% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
  • Africa’s leading cotton producer
  • Increased importance of gold production (4th largest producer in Africa)
  • Member of the WAEMU
  • Good record on economic policy and implementation of structural reforms
  • Support of the international financial community (one of the first countries to have benefited from the HIPC initiative)
  • Economy highly exposed to weather conditions
  • Vulnerability to movements in cotton and gold prices
  • Highly dependent on foreign aid
  • Weakness of electricity infrastructure
  • Demographic pressure and very high level of poverty

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