Some facts about Burkina Faso
In August 1960, the country gained complete independence from France, but a number of military coups followed. It is now a semi-presidential Republic and a member of the African Union (AU). The country was known as "Republic of Upper Volta" until 1984.
Burkina Faso is an extremely poor country characterised by one of the lowest per capita GDPs in the world. Although the country is rich in gold, cotton production is the main pillar of the economy. Compared to other African nations, its industrial base is rather weak and natural resources are scarce. 90 per cent of the country's labour force work in the agricultural sector.
In 2011, widespread popular protests over police brutality, autocracy and rising food prices triggered international media attention. The protests were soon quieted by the authorities, who promised to make changes to the current constitution in order to make Burkina Faso a more democratic state.