Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, literally and affectionately known as “the land of upright men”, has a population of around twenty million. It is a landlocked country in West Africa and is known for its simple and hardworking national character. The country has been the target of terrorist attacks for several years, which has resulted in numerous victims and thousands of displaced persons.

Burkina Faso is a low-income country with limited natural resources. Its economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs nearly 80% of the working population.

About nine tenths of the population are engaged in subsistence agriculture or herding. Difficult economic conditions, compounded by severe intermittent droughts, have resulted in considerable migration from rural to urban areas within Burkina Faso and to neighbouring countries.

Growing insecurity, especially in the north near the border with Mali and Niger, has resulted in significant population displacement within the country. In March 2020, the number of internally displaced persons stood at around 765,000. Moreover, more than 2,000 schools were closed at the time, which resulted in a situation that deprived some 300,000 students of an education. Women and children are those who are most severely affected in these situations.

Despite the progress made over the past two decades, Burkina Faso faces many development challenges, particularly in the areas of health and education. With 40.1% of the population living below the national poverty line, the primary school enrolment rate is one of the lowest in Africa, even though the government devotes a large proportion of the national budget to education.

In addition, the insecurity linked to the frequent terrorist attacks since 2016 has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

In Burkina Faso, we implement the following programmes:

Speed School – our main education programme. Designed in Mali in 2004, Speed Schools provide out-of-school children, at least half of them girls, aged 9 to 12 with a nine-month accelerated learning course that makes them eligible to enrol in 4th grade of formal primary school.

Our Speed School 2 for adolescents, vocational training, adult literacy and Saving for Change programmes provide out-of-school adolescents and illiterate women with new educational and economic opportunities.


Read more: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/BFA