Burkina Faso

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Map of Africa showing location of Burkina Faso

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 of 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.

Last updated : 07-Jun-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 21-Mar-2011

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