Burkina Faso, also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa around in size. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. 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 by then-President Thomas Sankara, using a word from each of the country's two major native languages, Mòoré and Dioula. Figuratively, Burkina, from Mòoré, may be translated as "men of integrity", while Faso means "fatherland" in Dioula. "Burkina Faso" is understood as "Land of upright people" or "Land of honest people". Residents of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè. French is an official language of government and business in the country.
Between 14,000 and 5000 BC, Burkina Faso was populated by hunter-gatherers in the country's northwestern region. Farm settlements appeared between 3600 and 2600 BC. What is now central Burkina Faso was principally composed of Mossi kingdoms. In 1896 France established a protectorate over the kingdoms in this territory.
After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes. Today it is a semi-presidential republic. The president is Blaise Compaoré. Burkina Faso is a member of the African Union, Community of Sahel-Saharan States, La Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Economic Community of West African States.
How places in Burkina Faso are organized
All places in Burkina Faso
Further information on historical place organization in Burkina Faso