On December 11, Burkina Faso celebrates 50 years of independence.
Ruled by the Mossi people until the French arrived in the late 19th century (but including 63 ethnic groups), Burkina Faso lies in the middle of the West African ‘hump’ in the Sahel – the region between the Sahara and the coastal rainforests. Its current boundaries were formed in 1947 and the country became independent in 1960 as Upper Volta, changing its name to Burkina Faso in 1984. After many years of coups and military rule, a constitution was ratified in 1991 and the country has been governed by a democratically elected government in free, if not entirely fair, elections since.
We wish all Burkinabè a safe and joyous fiftieth anniversary celebration.