Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960. Changed its name from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso ('Land of Honest Men') in 1984.
Head of state:
President Blaise Compaoré since 1987.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Paramanga Ernest Yonli since 2000.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard.
The landlocked state of Burkina Faso remains poor even by West African standards. However, the government is investing in tourism and measures have been taken to increase the accommodation available in the country and to make tourist destinations more attractive.
Wildlife is a key element of this objective in the eastern part of the country while the central part around Ouagadougou concentrates on business tourism. The west focuses on cultural tourism, the north on the discovery of nomadic populations and traditions.