Located in Western Africa, landlocked Burkina Faso is slightly larger than Colorado. Sharing over 3000 km of border with six countries: Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo. The capital city is Ouagadougou (population 2.053 million); the official language is French.
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise Compaore came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. There have been increasing protests over the belief that the president may try to run for a currently unconstitutional third term in the 2015 presidential elections.
The government is a parliamentary republic, with 13 regions. Burkina Faso's civil law is based on the French model and customary law. The chief of state is the elected President (Compaore), elected by a popular vote to a five-year term. The head of government is the Prime Minister (Tiao), appointed by the president with consent of the National Assembly. The Assembly is a unicameral body comprised of 127 seats.
The climate of Burkina Faso is tropical with warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers. The terrain is mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains, with hills in west and southeast. The natural resources available include: manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, and salt.
CIA World Factbook, 6/2014