Burkina Faso is a small, poor, landlocked country in West Africa. It is bounded by Niger to the east, Mali to the north and west, and Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast to the south. Burkina Faso, previously known as Upper Volta, was once part of French West Africa since 1896 until 1960.
The first people to settle in the area are the Mossi people in the 11th and 13th century. They established powerful kingdoms such as the Ouagadougou, Tenkodogo, and Yatenga. These kingdoms were centres of the trans-Saharan trade. These kingdoms were able to resist conquest by the Mali and Songhay Empires. Later in 1890, it was colonised by the French who rewrote the borders, according to these present borders.
The country marched towards independence under a Mossi dominated party. Upper Volta became independent in 1960. In 1984, the country changed its name to Burkina Faso. Because Burkina Faso is a poor country; it has not being able to satisfy the needs of its populations. This has resulted in numerous coups and an exodus of young people to more prosperous countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.
Burkina Faso, which means "land of honest men", has significant reserves of gold, but the country has faced many domestic and external concern over the state of its economy and human rights. A former French colony, it gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960.
In 1983, Captain Thomas Sankara seized power and adopted radical left-wing policies but was ousted by Blaise Compaore, who went on to rule for 27 years before being ousted in a popular uprising in 2014.