Statistical information Burkina Faso 2023Burkina%20Faso

Map of Burkina Faso | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Burkina Faso in the World
Burkina Faso in the World

Trusted Tours

Burkina Faso - Introduction 2023
top of page

Background: Many of Burkina Faso’s ethnic groups arrived in the region between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Gurma and Mossi peoples established several of the largest kingdoms in the area and used horse-mounted warriors in military campaigns. Of the various Mossi kingdoms, the most powerful were Ouagadougou and Yatenga. In the late 19th century, European states competed for control of the region. France eventually conquered the area and established it as a French protectorate.

Burkina Faso - Geography 2023
top of page

Location: Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 2 00 W

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 274,200 km²
Land: 273,800 km²
Water: 400 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Colorado

Land boundaries
Total: 3,611 km
Border countries: (6) Benin 386 km; Cote d'Ivoire 545 km; Ghana 602 km; Mali 1325 km; Niger 622 km; Togo 131 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: three climate zones including a hot tropical savanna with a short rainy season in the southern half, a tropical hot semi-arid steppe climate typical of the Sahel region in the northern half, and small area of hot desert in the very north of the country bordering the Sahara Desert

TerrainNatural resources: gold, manganese, zinc, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice, salt
Land use

Land use
Agricultural land: 44.2% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land arable land: 22% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent crops: 37% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent pasture: 21.93% (2018 est.)
Forest: 19.3% (2018 est.)
Other: 36.5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land: 550 km² (2016)

Major rivers
By length in km:
Volta river source (shared with Ghana [m]) - 1,600 km
note: - [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds area km²: Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 km²), Volta (410,991 km²)

Total water withdrawal
Municipal: 380 million cubic meters (2020 est.)
Industrial: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)
Agricultural: 420 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources: 13.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Natural hazards: recurring droughts

Note: landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas

Burkina Faso - People 2023
top of page

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly one-third of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million as shown in this [link]: 22,489,126 (2023 est.)
Growth rate: 2.46% (2023 est.)
Below poverty line: 41.4% (2018 est.)

Noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
Adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups: Mossi 52%, Fulani (Peuhl) 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dyula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)

Languages: Mossi 52.9%, Fula 7.8%, Gourmantche 6.8%, Dyula 5.7%, Bissa 3.3%, Gurunsi 3.2%, French (official) 2.2%, Bwamu 2%, Dagara 2%, San 1.7%, Marka 1.6%, Bobo 1.5%, Senufo 1.5%, Lobi 1.2%, other 6.6% (2019 est.)

Religions: Muslim 63.8%, Roman Catholic 20.1%, Animiste 9%, Protestant 6.2%, other 0.2%, none 0.7% (2019 est.)

Demographic profile: Burkina Faso has a young age structure - the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility - and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. Almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 as of 2020, and the population is growing at 2.5% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of more than 4 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 42.19% (male 4,813,760/female 4,674,649)
15-64 years: 54.62% (male 5,899,774/female 6,383,134)
65 years and over: 3.19% (2023 est.) (male 305,233/female 412,576)

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: 87.4
Youth dependency ratio: 82.6
Elderly dependency ratio: 4.8
Potential support ratio: 20.9 (2021 est.)

Median age
Total: 18.5 years (2023 est.)
Male: 17.7 years
Female: 19.3 years

Population growth rate: 2.46% (2023 est.)

Birth rate: 32.7 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate: 7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution
Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly one-third of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million as shown in this [link]

Urban population: 32.5% of total population (2023)
Rate of urbanization: 4.75% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas
Population: 3.204 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 1.129 million Bobo-Dioulasso (2023)

Current issues: recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation (2019)
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
International agreements signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants
Particulate matter emissions: 40.74 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 3.42 megatons (2016 est.)
Methane emissions: 12.85 megatons (2020 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth: 20.1 years (2021 est.)
Note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio: 264 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate
Total: 48.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)
Male: 52.4 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 43.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 63.8 years (2023 est.)
Male: 62 years
Female: 65.7 years

Total fertility rate: 4.14 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate: 35.3% (2020/21)

Drinking water source
Improved urban: 94.7% of population
Improved rural: 71.3% of population
Improved total: 78.5% of population
Unimproved urban: 5.3% of population
Unimproved rural: 28.7% of population
Unimproved total: 21.5% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure: 6.7% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density: 0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density: 0.4 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access
Improved urban:
90.8% of population

rural: 37.7% of population

total: 54% of population

Unimproved urban:
9.2% of population

rural: 62.3% of population

total: 46% of population (2020 est.)


Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk: very high (2023)
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
Animal contact diseases: rabies
Respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
Note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Burkina Faso is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity adult prevalence rate: 5.6% (2016)

Alcohol consumption
Per capita total: 7.28 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita beer: 1 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita wine: 0.08 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita spirits: 0.31 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita other alcohols: 5.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use
Total: 14.3% (2020 est.)
Male: 22.1% (2020 est.)
Female: 6.4% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 17.5% (2021)

Education expenditures: 5.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 46%
Male: 54.5%
Female: 37.8% (2021)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education
Total: 9 years
Male: 9 years
Female: 9 years (2020)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 7.7% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 7.5%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 8%

Burkina Faso - Government 2023
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Burkina Faso
Local long form: none
Local short form: Burkina Faso
Former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta
Etymology: name translates as "Land of the Honest (Incorruptible) Men"

Government type: presidential republic

Name: Ouagadougou
Geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
Time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Etymology: Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the native name "Wogodogo," meaning "where people get honor and respect"

Administrative divisions: 13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest

Dependent areas

Independence: 5 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community

History: several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991, temporarily suspended late October to mid-November 2014; initial draft of a new constitution to usher in the new republic was completed in January 2017 and a final draft was submitted to the government in December 2017; a constitutional referendum originally scheduled for adoption in March 2019 was postponed; on 1 March 2022 a transition charter was adopted, allowing military authorities to rule for three years and barring the transitional president from being an electoral candidate after the transition
Amendments: proposed by the president, by a majority of National Assembly membership, or by petition of at least 30,000 eligible voters submitted to the Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in the Assembly; failure to meet that threshold requires majority voter approval in a referendum; constitutional provisions on the form of government, the multiparty system, and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended several times

Legal system: civil law based on the French model and customary law; in mid-2019, the National Assembly amended the penal code

International law organization participation: has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship by birth: no
Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Burkina Faso
Dual citizenship recognized: yes
Residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: transitional President Capt. Ibrahim TRAORE (since 30 September 2022); note - on 30 September 2022, a Legislative branch
Description: unicameral National Assembly (127 seats; 111 members directly elected in 13 multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote and 26 members elected in a nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
Elections: last held on 22 November 2020 (next to be held by July 2024)
Election results: percent of vote by party - MPP 34.6%, CDP 13.3%, UPC 10.2%, NTD 5.6%, other 36.3%; seats by party - MPP 56, CDP 20, NTD 13, UPC 12, other 26; composition as of October 2021 - men 119, women 8, percent of women 6.3%

Judicial branch
Highest courts: Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Council of State (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 9 members)
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judges have no term limits; Council of State judge appointment and tenure NA; Constitutional Council judges appointed by the president of Burkina Faso upon the proposal of the minister of justice and the president of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 3 years
Subordinate courts: Appeals Court; High Court; first instance tribunals; district courts; specialized courts relating to issues of labor, children, and juveniles; village (customary) courts

Political parties and leaders:
Act Together [Kadre OUEDRAOGO]
African Democratic Rally/Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF/RDA [Gilbert Noel OUEDRAOGO]
Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Eddie KOMBOIGO]
Convergence for Progress and Solidarity-Generation 3 or CPS-G3
Movement for the Future Burkina Faso or MBF
National Convention for Progress or CNP
New Era for Democracy or NTD [Vincent DABILGOU]
Pan-African Alliance for Refoundation or APR
Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]
Party for Development and Change or PDC [Aziz SEREME]
Patriotic Rally for Integrity or RPI
Peoples Movement for Progress or MPP [Roch Marc Christian KABORE]
Progressives United for Renewal or PUR
Union for Progress and Reform or UPC [Zephirin DIABRE]
Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Party or UNIR-PS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]

Note: only parties with seats in the National Assembly included

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU (suspended), CD, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSCA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOOSA, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Jean-Baptiste GAGRE (since 31 July 2023)
In the us chancery: 2,340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 332-5,577
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882
In the us email address and website:


From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Sandra E. CLARK (since 25 September 2020)
From the us embassy: Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000, Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Rue 15.873, Ouagadougou
From the us mailing address: 2,440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20,521-2,440
From the us telephone: (226) 25-49-53-00
From the us FAX: (226) 25-49-56-23
From the us email address and website:


Flag descriptionflag of Burkina%20Faso: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; red recalls the country's struggle for independence, green is for hope and abundance, and yellow represents the country's mineral wealth
Note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National symbols: white stallion; national colors: red, yellow, green

National anthem
Name: "Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
Lyrics/music: Thomas SANKARA
Note: adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night); written by the country's former president, an avid guitar player

National heritage
Total World Heritage Sites: 3 (2 cultural, 1 natural)
Selected World Heritage Site locales: Ruins of Loropéni (c); Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites (c); W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (n)

Burkina Faso - Economy 2023
top of page

Economy overview: highly agrarian, low-income economy; limited natural resources; widespread poverty; terrorism disrupting potential economic activity; improving trade balance via increases in gold exports; economy inflating after prior deflation; growing public debt but still manageable

Real gdp purchasing power parity:
$48.175 billion (2021 est.)
$45.063 billion (2020 est.)
$44.209 billion (2019 est.)

Note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real gdp growth rate:
6.91% (2021 est.)
1.93% (2020 est.)
5.69% (2019 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use
Household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.)
Government consumption: 23.9% (2017 est.)
Investment in fixed capital: 24.6% (2017 est.)
Investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)
Exports of goods and services: 28.4% (2017 est.)
Imports of goods and services: -34.4% (2017 est.)

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 31% (2017 est.)
Industry: 23.9% (2017 est.)
Services: 44.9% (2017 est.)

Agriculture products

Industries: cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold

Industrial production growth rate: 8.73% (2021 est.)

Labor force: 8.016 million (2021 est.)
Note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
4.76% (2021 est.)
4.89% (2020 est.)
4.69% (2019 est.)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 7.7% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 7.5%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 8%

Population below poverty line: 41.4% (2018 est.)

Gini index
Coefficient distribution of family income: 47.3 (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10%: 2.9%
Highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $3.212 billion (2019 est.)
Expenditures: $3.757 billion (2019 est.)
Surplus  or deficit: -7.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt:
72.53% of GDP (2020 est.)
46.64% of GDP (2019 est.)
45.57% of GDP (2018 est.)

Taxes and other revenues: 13.28% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

From forest resources: 4.54% of GDP (2018 est.)
From coal: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance:
$743.232 million (2020 est.)
-$523.837 million (2019 est.)
-$664.797 million (2018 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices:
3.65% (2021 est.)
1.88% (2020 est.)
-3.23% (2019 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance:
$743.232 million (2020 est.)
-$523.837 million (2019 est.)
-$664.797 million (2018 est.)

$5.356 billion (2020 est.)
$4.468 billion (2019 est.)
$4.511 billion (2018 est.)

Note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.
Partners: Switzerland 59%, India 21% (2019)
Commodities: gold, cotton, zinc, cashews, sesame seeds (2021)

$4.779 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$5.023 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$5.167 billion (2018 est.)

Partners: Cote d'Ivoire 15%, China 9%, Ghana 8%, France 8%, India 6%, United States 5% (2019)
Commodities: refined petroleum, delivery trucks, packaged medicines, electricity, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$49 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$50.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt external:
$3.056 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)
580.657 (2017 est.)

Burkina Faso - Energy 2023
top of page

Electricity access
Population without electricity: 16 million (2020)
Electrification-total population: 18.9% (2021)
Electrification-urban areas: 67.6% (2021)
Electrification-rural areas: 4.7% (2014)

Electricity production

Electricity consumption: 2,033,520,000 kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity imports: 600 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity installed generating capacity: 392,000 kW (2020 est.)

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources
Fossil fuels: 89.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Solar: 3.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Hydroelectricity: 6.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Biomass and waste: 0.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)
Refined petroleum consumption: 30,800 bbl/day (2019 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum
Products production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products imports: 23,580 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions: 4.444 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From petroleum and other liquids: 4.444 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita: 3.23 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Burkina Faso - Communication 2023
top of page

Telephones fixed lines
Total subscriptions: 81,374 (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2021 est.) less than 1

Telephones mobile cellular
Total subscriptions: 24,678,315 (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 112 (2021 est.)

Telephone system

Broadcast media: since the official inauguration of Terrestrial Digital Television (TNT) in December 2017, Burkina Faso now has 14 digital TV channels among which 2 are state-owned; there are more than 140 radio stations (commercial, religious, community) available throughout the country including a national and regional state-owned network; the state-owned Radio Burkina and the private Radio Omega are among the most widespread stations and both include broadcasts in French and local languages (2019)

Internet country code: .bf

Internet users
Total: 4.84 million (2021 est.)
Percent of population: 22% (2021 est.)

Broadband fixed subscriptions
Total: 13,979 (2020 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

Burkina Faso - Military 2023
top of page

Military expenditures:
2.9% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.4% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security forces:
Armed Forces of Burkina Faso (FABF; aka National Armed Forces (FAN), aka Defense and Security Forces (Forces de Défense et de Sécurité or FDS)): Army of Burkina Faso (L’Armee de Terre, LAT), Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso), National Gendarmerie, National Fire Brigade (Brigade Nationale de Sapeurs-Pompiers or BNSP); Homeland Defense Volunteers (Forcés de Volontaires de Défense pour la Patrie or VDP)

Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Security (Ministère de l'Administration Territoriale, de la Décentralisation et de la Sécurité): National Police (2023)

Note 1: the National Gendarmerie officially reports to the Ministry of Defense, but usually operates in support of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and Security; Gendarmerie troops are typically integrated with Army forces in anti-terrorism operations; specialized counterterrorism units include the Army's special forces, the Special Legion of the National Gendarmerie, and the Multipurpose Intervention Unit of National Police
Note 2: the VDP is a lightly-armed civilian defense/militia force established in 2019 to act as auxiliaries to the Army in the fight against militants; the volunteers receive two weeks of training and typically assist with carrying out surveillance, information-gathering, and escort duties, as well as local defense, and were to be based in each of the country's more than 300 municipalities; in 2022, the military government created a "Patriotic Watch and Defense Brigade" (La Brigade de Veille et de Défense Patriotique or BVDP) under the FABF to coordinate the VDP recruits

Military service age and obligation: 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women (2023)
Note: the military junta implemented an emergency law in 2023 that allows the president extensive powers to combat terrorist groups operating in the country, including conscripting citizens into the security services

Terrorist groups
Terrorist groups: Ansarul Islam; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS); al-Mulathamun Battalion (al-Mourabitoun); Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM)
Note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Burkina Faso - Transportation 2023
top of page

National air transport system
Number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
Inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3
Annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 151,531 (2018)
Annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 100,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: XT

Airports: 23 (2021)
With paved runways: 2
With paved runways note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)
With unpaved runways: 21
With unpaved runways note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control

Airports with paved runways: 2
Note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with unpaved runways: 21
Note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control



Total: 622 km (2014)
Narrow gauge: 622 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge
Note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire

Total: 15,304 km (2014)
Paved: 3,642 km (2014)
Unpaved: 11,662 km (2014)


Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Burkina Faso - Transnational issues 2023
top of page

Disputes international:
porous borders contribute to illicit cross-border activities, including terrorism and trafficking

Burkina Faso-Benin: the two countries dispute sovereignty over a small area known as Kourou/Koalou near the tripoint with Togo, which has been declared a neutral zone pending settlement of the dispute; in 2009, an agreement to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice was signed, but no formal application has yet been made to the Court

Refugees and internally displaced persons
Refugees country of origin: 36,372 (Mali) (2023)
IDPs: 2,062,534 (2023)

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it