burkinafasoBurkina Faso (formally Upper Volta) declared independence from France on August 5, 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s during which the current president Blaise Compaore was elected (CIA, 2012).  The country is located in West Africa and bordered on the North and West by Mali, on the East by Niger and on the south by Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that relies heavily on cotton and gold exports for revenue. With a land area of 274, 200 km2, the population of Burkina Faso is estimated at 16.7 million people in 2012.

Acknowledgments

Persons responsible for this report: Andre M. Nnoung, Burt E. Swanson and Andrea B. Bohn