Capital city: Ouagadougou
Languages: French (official)
Population: Abt. 17 million
Area: 273,600 sq km
GDP per capita: 600 in 2011
GDP current US$: 10 in 2011
Ease of Business Ranking: 153 in 2013
Burkina Faso, also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) 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. "Burkino Faso" is thus meant to be understood as "Land of upright people" or "Land of honest people". Inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè.
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. These Mossi Kingdoms became a French protectorate in 1896. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes until arriving at its current form, 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.