Burkina Faso History

As a country located in Africa according to Topmbadirectory, Burkina Faso is a West African state (270,764 km²). Capital: Ouagadougou. Administrative division: provinces (45). Population: 14,017,262 (2009 estimate). Language: French (official), dioula, malinke, môre. Religion: Muslims 60.6%, animists / traditional beliefs 15.3%, Christians 23.2%. Monetary unit: CFA franc (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.389 (177th place). Borders: Mali (N and W), Niger and Benin (E), Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast (S). Member of: CEDEAO, OCI, UN, AU and WTO, EU associate.


Today’s Burkina Faso is the result of the unification under a single government, implemented by France in the last years of the century. XIX, of about fifty different ethnic groups (mossi, peul, senufo, lobi, gurunsi etc.). Some of these populations, which would have separated from a unitary group coming from the area of ​​Lake Chad (the so-called Dagomba-Mamprusi-Mossi group), would have had a common ancestor, whose children would have started the various moved kingdoms (Tenkodogo, Ouagadougou, Yatenga, Gurma), whose foundation period is controversial: it goes from the century. XII of some authors to XV of others. The kingdoms moved had a Naba (chief), on which ministers, provincial chiefs, feudal lords, etc. depended. The most important kingdom moved was that of Ouagadougou, whose king assumed the title of Mogho Naba (leader of the Mossi). Attacked by Mali and Songhai, the kingdoms moved began their decline in the sec. XVI-XVII, while in the XVIII Islam made its entrance among them. Minor kingdoms were constituted in the sec. XVIII and XIX in the SW regions of the current territory by invaders from the Ivory Coast (the most important was that of Gouïriko, founded by the Uattara of Kong).

The same regions were then the scene of the raids and devastation of the almamy Samory Touré. Between 1896 and 1898, France entered into a series of treaties with the various leaders, bringing their regions under their protectorate or sovereignty. Together with the neighboring French colonies, they were detached in 1919 to form a “territory” of its own. In 1932 this was dissolved and divided between the neighboring colonies, but in 1947 it was reconstituted to form the colony of Upper Volta, which on 5 August 1960 gained independence. Maurice Yaméogo was the first president, but in 1966 he was deposed by General Sangoulé Lamizana, who remained the undisputed arbiter of the country until 1980: he governed alone or with the help of a domesticated parliament in which a party inspired by him prevailed, the Union Démocratique Voltaïque. On November 25, 1980, a military coup deposed Lamizana; power was assumed by Colonel Saye Zerbo, who suspended the Constitution and dissolved Parliament. Two years later (1983) another coup also deposed Zerbo, who was succeeded by Major Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo, but briefly: on 4 August 1983, power was assumed by Captain Thomas Sankara, who governed with the support of a National Council of the Revolution. The following year the name of the state was changed from Upper Volta (or Volta) to that of Burkina. In September 1987 also this government, already opposed by the trade unions, Blaise Compaoré, which then took over the leadership of the country: the new regime proclaimed continuity with the revolutionary process started in 1983, but it pursued a more effective economic policy. From 1989 a gradual process of liberalization began which led to a new Constitution, approved by referendum in 1991. At the end of the same year Compaoré was confirmed president, but after the consultation, boycotted by the opposition gathered in a Coordination of Democratic Forces (CFD), only a little over 27% of the country participated. The first legislative elections (June 1992) were also won with a large majority by the president’s party (Organization for People’s Democracy-Labor Movement: ODP-MT). Strengthened by renewed success, Compaoré was thus able to afford to appoint a government in which some opposition forces also participated. Subsequently, the democratic framework of Burkina Faso remained substantially stable in the figure of Compaoré, even if there were signs of an emptying of the multi-party system through a process of re-aggregation of forces around the president’s party which, however, continued to be reconfirmed as the majority party. Compaoré, thanks to a constitutional amendment, had the law that placed a limit on the number of presidential terms repealed and won the elections of November 1998 and those of 2005. The result of these consultations, however, was harshly criticized by the opposition. The ODP-MT, whose name had been changed to the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) continued to get the majority of votes even in the 2007 elections. In November 2010, President Compaoré was reconfirmed with 83% of the votes. After a series of riots in October 2014, Compaoré left the country after 27 years of government. The interim presidency was assumed by Colonel Isaac Yacouba Zida.

Burkina Faso History

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