Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Burkina Basics

One of my favourite descriptions of Burkina Faso comes from the Lonely Planet travel guide.

'[The people in] Burkina Faso consistently produce silk purses from sows' ears; they come from one of the poorest countries in the world, but they are renowned for their don't-worry-be-happy optimism and have managed to fashion a beautiful and culturally sophisticated country out of the little resources they do have.'

Some basic facts about Burkina Faso:

Population: 13.8 million (UN, 2005)

Capital: Ouagadougou [wa-ga-do-goo]

Major languages: French, 68 indigenous languages

Major religions: Indigenous, Islam, Christianity

Life expectancy: 47 years (men), 48 years (women) (UN)

Main exports: Cotton, animal products, gold

GNI per capita: US $360 (World Bank, 2005)

Internet domain: .bf

International dialling code: +226

(More: BBC Burkina Faso Profile, University of Pensylvania African Studies Center, Photos)