Burkina Faso is ranked the fourth poorest country in the world, according to the MPI — the United Nations’ Multinational Poverty Index. This index is currently the most comprehensive and reliable index, and includes the following indications of poverty:

Education

 

1. Years of Schooling: If there is access, if any member in the household has completed than five years of schooling.

 

2. School children: If school-aged children do not attend school

Health 

 

3. Infant Mortality : If one or more children have died in the family

 

4. Nutrition : If there is no access, or if any child or adult is suffering from malnutrition

Quality of Life

 

5. If the home has no electricity

 

6. If there is not a bathroom with sufficient conditions, or if it is shared

 

7. If the home does not have access to drinkable water or is more than a 30 minute walk away from drinkable water.

 

8. If the floor is made of dirt, sand or manure.

 

9. Fuel source: if the household’s kitchen cooks with charcoal, coal, or dung

 

10. Goods: if the household does not have more than one of the following goods: radio, television, telephone, bicycle or motorbike.

Burkina Faso: Ríos de Arena

The BIBIR Africa projects are developed in the Yatenga region, one of the poorest in the country, and have identified that there are huge gaps in poverty according to MPI guidelines.

 

In Burkina Faso where 95 percent of employment and 32 percent of GDP are created by agriculture, drought has worsened the living conditions for people in regions like Yatenga. As a result, as many as three million people from Burkina Faso were forced to migrate to other African countries like Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso’s namesake derives its meaning “country of honorable people” from the combination of the Mossi term burkina, which means “honorable” and the Diula term faso which means “country.” Mossi and Diula are two of the most widely spoken languages in the country, though the officially recognized language is French. Known as the Upper Volta during the colonial era, the country was named by President Thomas Sankara, who was regarded as the Ché Guevara of Africa after taking control in 1983. Additionally, he was known as a charismatic, revolutionary, Pan-Africanist, feminist leader. His most important actions include the prohibition of FGM — Female Genital Mutilation, forced marriages, and polygamy. He also appointed many women as public officials, and pushed for women to be educated and integrated into the workforce. In 1987, Sankara was deposed and assassinated after the coup d'état led by Blaise Compaoré, who remained in power until October 2014 when the public rebelled against the dictator with military support. Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida presided over a transitional government until the first democratic elections in the country were held on November 29, 2015, in which Roch Marc Christian Kabore was elected as the new democracy’s first president.