Canadian international assistance in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso remains one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 185 out of 188 on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index. In 2015, more than 55% of the population lived below the national poverty line.

The average actual growth rate of Burkina Faso’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been approximately 5.4% per year over the last decade (2006-2015).

Agriculture and other industries

The primary sector—particularly agriculture—which employs more than 80% of the labour force, makes up approximately 39% of the country’s GDP. It is vulnerable to climatic conditions, to a limited supply of water resources in the country’s Sahel region, and to fluctuations in global food and petroleum product markets.

Revenues from gold exports have surpassed those from cotton exports since 2009. In 2015, gold accounted for approximately 61.7% of exports of Burkina Faso, and cotton for 13.1%. The service sector is not strong enough to develop an inclusive economy, and the processing sector, which could potentially stimulate the economy, accounts for only 25% of GDP.

Significant progress has been made in the areas of basic education, access to drinking water and combating HIV/AIDS. The primary school enrolment rate rose from 44.4% in 2000 to 84% in 2014, and  the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in adults aged 15 to 49 decreased from 2,2% in 2001 to 0.8% in 2015.

Political shift

From 1987 to 2014, the political landscape of Burkina Faso was dominated by President Blaise Compaoré. In 2014, a significant popular uprising led to his resignation and a transitional government was appointed with a mandate to organize presidential and legislative elections.

Despite an attempted coup that failed in September 2015, elections were held in November 2015, after which Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was elected President in the first round. His political party, the “Mouvement du peuple pour le progrès (MPP)”, achieved the highest results in the legislative elections, with 55 members elected out of a total of 127.

Some efforts in the area of good governance have been undertaken, including the adoption of legislative frameworks and ratification in 2006 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Despite this, Burkina Faso ranks 76th out of 168 countries on Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Our international development assistance

Search the Project Browser to see what Canada is doing to support development in Burkina Faso.

Canada’s international development programming in Burkina Faso supports their National Economic and Social Development Plan 2016-2020, which focuses on three main objectives:

Projects supported by Canada in Burkina Faso are aligned with these areas and aim to reduce poverty.

We deliver assistance in Burkina Faso through several programs and channels covering a wide range of sectors, including governance, health and agriculture.

Other federal institutions, including the Department of Finance and the International Development Research Centre, also contribute to Canada’s development efforts in Burkina Faso.

Increasing opportunities for young people

The country has a high proportion of children and youth, with approximately seven million people under the age of 14. This segment of the population is particularly vulnerable to violence, and economic and sexual exploitation.

Although Burkina Faso has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1992), the application of these treaties is hindered by factors such as:

For over fifteen years, Canada has been supporting the Government of Burkina Faso’s initiatives in the education sector. Since 2012, Canada has supported the Government of Burkina Faso’s ten year plan for the development of the basic education sector (2012–2021). This plan aims to improve educational services, make them more accessible, and to develop a skills for employment training program for youth.

Canada finances a project to strengthen the capacity of professionals to ensure the protection of children in the justice system, police stations and community centers. Canada also supports the implementation of Burkina Faso's national gender policy which aims to make educational services more accessible to girls.

Key anticipated results

Agri-food sector

Canada continues its support to the development of the agri-food sector and skills for employment in Burkina Faso. We do this by focusing on the socio-economic strengthening of women and youth and their integration into the job market.

Key anticipated results

Progress on aid effectiveness

Burkina Faso signed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005 and the Busan Partnership Agreement for effective development cooperation in 2011.

Based on the Busan agreement, Burkina Faso adopted a national action plan for development cooperation effectiveness (PANED) in 2014. One purpose of the plan is to strengthen the role of the private sector and civil society in the country’s development and build good governance, particularly by implementing anti-corruption measures and strengthening the decentralization process.

Burkina Faso is a model for best practices in public financial management in Africa, which is why 9 out of 10 of

Burkina Faso's main donors provide it with general budgetary support. Canada is a member of the donor coordination group in education and microfinance.

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