Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in the West African Sahel with a growing economy (6,6 percent in 2018). Following the fall of the long-standing president, Blaise Compaoré, and the defeat of an attempted coup, democratic elections proceeded peacefully at the end of 2015. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was elected as new president. Despite some changes in the cabinet, the government is expected to remain in office until the next elections scheduled for 2020.
In economic terms, commodity exports (gold, cotton) notably boosted the gross national product. In recent years, the international collapse in prices and political crises culminated in an economic crisis nonetheless. Most of the working population in Burkina Faso is still employed in the agriculture sector. However, harvest yields are generally just enough to meet subsistence needs and vary greatly due to the adverse climate. The Burkinabé struggle with recurrent food crises. In addition, the overall security situation has deteriorated in recent years. This is mainly due to the increased military engagement of the Burkinabé army in Mali in line with a regional military alliance. A high security risk and risk of social unrest are likely to continue in the near future.
REDUCING POVERTY TOGETHER
Although Burkina Faso has made progress in the last 20 years - in primary school education and drinking water supply, for example - almost half of its 17 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. This is why Austria actively supports the government of Burkina Faso in its efforts to reduce poverty. Improving training and raising productivity are among the foremost challenges that the country has been facing over the past years. The Austrian Development Agency therefore promotes practical and needs-based vocational training and the professionalisation of skilled crafts and agriculture.
Burkina Faso has been a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation since 1992. A field office was established in the capital, Ouagadougou, in 1996.