Burkina Faso is in western Africa, north of Ghana. It has warm, dry winters, and hot, wet summers but I don’t think it will be on my next trip itinerary. The country became independent from France in 1960, and in the subsequent decades there were repeated military coups. The 1990’s brought multiparty elections but President Blaise Compaore resigned in Oct 2014 following protests against his efforts to amend the two-term presidential limit. The country is now run by an interim administration with presidential and legislative elections to be held in late 2015.
The Burkinabe people, of which there are over 18 million, speak French officially but native African languages are still spoken by 90% of the population, which is mainly muslim but also about 20% catholic. The life expectancy is less than 55 years (compared to over 80 in the UK), and only 37% of men and 22% of women over 15 can read and write (compared to about 84% globally).
One are that BF beats the UK though is youth unemployment with only 4% aged 15-24 unemployed, compared to 21% in the UK. Which is crazy when you think how many more young people in that age range are in education in the UK. The country’s main export is gold, cotton, and it also apparently exports a decent amount of sesame seeds every year.