The defense comprises (2009) 10 800 men enlisted squad including gendarmerie and is organized into five regiments and five fighter aircraft. A trained reserve force amounts to 45,000 men. The material is of mixed and increasingly Western origin. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that BFA stands for Burkina Faso.
Defense costs increased in 1985-2007 from 1.1% to 1.3% of GDP. Burkina Faso participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in Congo (Kinshasa) (MUNOC) and Sudan (UNMIS and UNAMID).
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Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa; approximately 1.6 million residents (2012). The largest population group is mossi. The town is located on the Mossiplateau in the savannah belt. In 1954, the railway from Abidjan reached Ouagadougou and gave rise to considerable economic growth. became the center for the transport of live cattle from the Sahel area to the coastal towns. Urban growth has created a need for a major modernization of the water supply, which began in 2001.
The city is radially and symmetrically built around the old town center with the square, which was renovated in the mid-1980’s in connection with an extensive urban renewal under President Sankara. Both the railway station and the airport are now centrally located in the city. To the north of the city core are four water reservoirs in an arch forming a large open breath. Towards NO, along the road to Kaya, are industrial neighborhoods with, among other things. slaughterhouses, brewery and metal industry.
The city is investing heavily in being a congress city and a regional economic and cultural center with, among other things, the FESPACO Film Festival and the SIAO Arts and Crafts Fair. It houses several inter-African institutions such as engineering schools, the Pan-African Cultural Institute and the Sahel Drought Control Committee.
The BF is one of the poorest countries on Earth: social conditions are very backward, the majority of the population of working age is employed in a stunted agriculture and the rate of population growth is constantly higher than the rate of growth of the economy. This picture of poverty is then aggravated by a difficult political climate: numerous episodes of political violence have also occurred in recent years. The devaluation of the currency (the CFA franc), which occurred in January 1994, has not brought any beneficial effects, as the country has very little to export, while imports concern goods of immediate necessity. Conversely, the measures that followed (control over the prices of essential goods, tax reform, etc.) were strongly contested by the social partners and the trade unions demanded that the austerity measures be offset by substantial wage increases.
The economy of the BF is dramatically conditioned from the outside, both by the more advanced countries, on which the provision of economic aid, the supply of food products, technical assistance and professional training depends, and by those neighboring countries towards which are oriented towards a strong seasonal emigration, whose remittances represent a significant resource for local populations.
Agriculture is practiced with very traditional methods and is strongly linked to the regularity of rainfall. The arid tropical climate, with short, even if intense, rainfall, concentrated between June and September, represents a major obstacle to achieving food self-sufficiency.
Although the country is not strictly included in the pre-desert belt, its northern borders are exposed to a serious risk of desertification, while water remains a rather rare commodity throughout the territory. This depends, on the one hand, on the strong concentration of rains in a few weeks a year and, on the other, on the particular geological structure of the territory. Although in some regions rainfall exceeds 1000 mm per year, the morphology of the territory and the composition of the soils are an obstacle to superficial hydrography: the waters penetrate quickly into the deep subsoil and this translates into a marked infertility of the land.
Industrial activities are very limited; they are based on small or very small production units and are limited to sectors that operate for the local market: food, textiles, with some presence in the mechanical branch (assembly of mopeds). Handicrafts are widespread and are aimed not only at the local market, but at satisfying the demand for tourism still in an embryonic stage.
Secondary activities are concentrated in Bobo-Dioulasso and, to a lesser extent, in the capital. Small quantities of gold are extracted from the subsoil (3570 kg in 1990, 2300 kg in 1997). Explorations are underway (with the assistance of Canadian and Swedish companies) to assess the size and exploitation possibilities of the manganese (Tambao, in the north-eastern section) and zinc (Perkoa, in the central area) deposits. In the subsoil, minerals of titanium, vanadium, nickel were then found; however, the quantities ascertained are not such as to make their exploitation economically convenient.
The availability of electricity is being upgraded with the construction of new water plants on the Nankabe and Volta Nero rivers. Communications are very difficult and require major maintenance and restructuring works, even for the main routes to the south. Given the conditions in which the country finds itself, the foreign debt is extremely high. BIBLIOGRAPHY S. Decalo, Burkina Faso, Oxford-Santa Barbara (Calif.) 1994 ; Africa South of the Sahara 1999, London 1998.