Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation of over 18 million people. More than 60 languages are spoken in Burkina Faso, but as a prior colony of France, the nation uses French to facilitate all government and legal operations. However, citizens do not commonly use the language. Less than one-fifth of Burkinabe people report speaking French on a daily basis.
The country currently relies on the exportation of gold and cotton for maintenance, but over 80 percent of people rely on growing their own crops to feed their families.
- Burkina Faso won the bronze medal at the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago with their under-17 soccer (football) team.
- The capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, used to be the capital of Burkina Faso’s largest ethnic group, the Mossi people. The Mossi make up 40 percent of Burkina Faso’s population, and the remaining 60 percent are made up of 60 over 60 different ethnic groups.
- French is Burkina Faso’s official language, but only 15-20 percent of Burkinabe speak it. The Mossi language of the Voltiac people has the broadest reach of any language in Burkina Faso. Nearly half of residents speak Mossi.
- Islam and Christianity are the major religions practiced in Burkina Faso, but followers of either religion tend to practice them in conjunction with indigenous spiritual traditions.
- The capital of this African country, Ouagadougou, translates into English as “You are welcome here at home with us.”
- Before achieving independence, Burkina Faso was called The Republic of Upper Volta. Its current name means “Land of the Honest People.”
- The name Upper Volta was chosen as a tribute to the three major rivers that run through the country. They were called the Black, White and Red Volta rivers, but have since been renamed.