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close this bookThe Courier N° 126 - March - April 1991 - Dossier: AIDS - The Big Threat / Country Report: Burkina Faso (EC Courier, 1991, 96 p.)
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The World Bank says that Burkina Faso’s economy made great strides in 1985-87, with net GDP growth of 7 % p.a. With this performance, essentially that of farming and export commodities, production growth was faster than the 3.3 % p.a. population growth for the first time.

But the harsh drought that began in 1987 ensured that these improvements were short-lived and GDP has since declined by about 2 % p.a. The main geographical and economic data of Burkina Faso are now as follows.

Population (1989): 9400000, with an annual growth rate of 3.3 %, average density of 29 inhabitants per km² and about 8 % of the population living in the towns.

Capital: Ouagadougou. Other main towns - Bobo-Dioulassa, Banfora, Ouahigouya, Kaya, Tenkodogo and Diapaga.


GDP (1988): CFAF 581.5 billion, as against CFAF 509.6 billion (CFAF I = FF 0.02, a fixed rate) in 1987. GDP for 1987 and 1988 (at those years’ prices) was CFAF 346 billion and CFAF 372.8 billion respectively.

Per capita GDP (1988): US$ 200. The primary sector accounted for 37.4 % of GDP in 1988, the secondary sector for 21% and the tertiary sector for 36 %.

Food crops: Sorghum, millet, maize, rice, groundnuts and sweet potatoes.

Exports (fob): Included cotton (1990), CFAF 30.74 billion; gold (1990), CFAF 15.22 billion and citrus fruit (mangoes).

Imports (fob) (1990): CFAF 206.19 billion, as against CFAF 194.70 billion in 1989.

Data and estimates up to 1994 suggest an increased trade deficit from CFAF 56 billion in 1984 to around CFAF 117 billion in 1990 and almost CFAF 172 billion in 1994.

Balance of payments: Deficit of CFAF 101.9 billion in 1988.

External public debt: CFAF 195.2 billion in 1984, rising to CFAF 244.7 billion in 1988.

Debt servicing: 15.1 % in 1984 rising to 17.5 % of goods and services.

Health: One doctor for every 55 000 inhabitants, death rate-19 per 1000, infant death rate - 6.5 %, life expectancy-about 47 years.

Education: Primary school attendance rate-32 % (1984), secondary school rate-5 %.