Country Profile: Burkina Faso
Capital and largest cityOuagadougou
Other citiesBobo Dioulasso, Koudougou, Banfora, Kaya, Tenkodogo
LanguagesFrench, Moore, Dioula
Area274, 000 sq km
13, 228, 000 (2007 est.)
CurrencyWest African CFA franc
Although French is the official language of Burkina Faso, other languages spoken include Bambara, Dagaare, Dioula, Dogon, Fula, Karaboro, Moore, Nanerige and Sucite.
Around four fifths of Burkina Faso's workers are employed in agriculture, growing livestock, pearl millet, maize, sorghum, peanuts, cotton and rice. Much of the country's economic activity is funded by international aid. The country's natural resources include gold, manganese, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice and salt. Burkina Faso is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, and hosts the most important handicraft fair in Africa, the International Art and Craft Fair, Ouagadougou, or SIAO.
Geography and climate
Burkina Faso's geography is divided into two, one part peneplain - gently undulating hillside and the last evidence of Precambrian massif - and the other sandstone massif with some mountainous areas. The country's previous name was Upper Volta, from the three rivers (Black, Red and White Voltas) which run through it. The Niger's basin drains much of the country. The tropical climate and varied geography means that Burkina Faso has various reserves and two national parks which are protected, and host an array of flora and fauna.
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