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Burkina Faso: About the Country

Burkina Faso also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa around 274,200 square kilometres in size (approx. twice the size of England). Its capital is Ouagadougou. In 2010, its population was estimated at just under 15.75 million.

Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984. The name combines a word of Mossi origin with a word of Mande origin, in order to be inclusive of the different ethnic groups in country, and translates to "land of honest people".

Burkina Faso has one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world: $1,200. Agriculture represents 32% of its gross domestic product and occupies 80% of the working population. It consists mostly of livestock but also, especially in the south and southwest, of growing sorghum, pearl millet, maize (corn), peanuts, rice and cotton

Average life expectancy at birth in 2004 was estimated at 52 for females and 50 for males. The median age of its inhabitants is 16.7. The estimated population growth rate is 3%.

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