Burkina Faso is a low-income (US$660 per capita in 2012), landlocked Sub-Saharan country with limited natural resources. With a demographic growth rate averaging 3%, its population was estimated at 16.6 million in 2012.
Burkina Faso’s economy is reliant on agricultural production, gold exports (production of which soared to record levels in the past three years), and cotton (which, for a long time, has been the chief export). The country remains vulnerable to such exogenous shocks as low rainfall, international financial and oil crises, and regional instability.
Sound economic management is behind Burkina Faso’s steady annual average growth rate of over 5.5% between 2000 and 2012, an inflation rate of 3%, and a budget deficit of approximately 3% in keeping with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) convergence criteria.
Growth picked up in 2012 (9%), driven by the mining boom and good cotton harvests resulting from favorable weather conditions. Slower growth is projected in 2013 owing to lower gold prices and a decline in gold production (39 metric tons compared to 42 metric tons in 2012) and low investment expenditure. Projections for cotton production stand at 730,000 metric tons against 620,000 metric tons in 2012 and oil prices are falling.
Volatile growth rates have an impact on poverty reduction, particularly among the poorest population groups. For this reason, in September 2013 the Government passed a draft supplementary budget that includes social measures estimated at CFAF 65 billion (1% of GDP), with the aim of boosting purchasing power. According to the most recent IMF and World Bank estimates, growth is expected to continue in the medium term, albeit at a slower pace (roughly 7% for the 2013-2015 period), owing mainly to the projection of lower gold prices on the international market.
The poverty rate in Burkina Faso was estimated at 46% in 2009 and the country ranked 183 (out of 186) in the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2012.
Legislative and municipal elections, both held on December 2, 2012, led to a redrawing of the country’s political map. The Union for Progress and Change (UPC), a fledgling political party that participated in the elections for the first time, became the second leading political party. The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the party in office, remained the dominant political player, with 70 of its representatives being elected of a total of 127 (55.1% of seats). This party also maintained its dominance at the municipal level.
The political and social climate remains tense and the new Senate formed has divided politicians in Burkina Faso. Dialogue has been organized with the different social groups and religious denominations in order to preserve peace in the country.
Despite major market economy reforms, a lack of support for the private sector and access to basic services remain major concerns. The challenge lies in expanding growth poles in the key sectors that have export potential and will help boost revenue in rural areas. To this end, the establishment of private sector-led growth poles in the mining sector would be beneficial.
There have been some positive human development trends: (i) infant mortality fell from 81 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 65 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010; (ii) the maternal mortality rate stood at 341 per 100,000 live births in 2010, down from 484 in 1995. Life expectancy at birth stood at 57 in 2009, slightly above the regional average of 50 years.
The gross primary school enrolment rate rose from 57% in 2005 to 79.6% in 2012. The illiteracy rate among the youth stood at 28.7% for Burkina Faso in 2010, compared to the average of 70% for Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to secondary education also improved from 20% in 2005 to 34.9% in 2012 for lower secondary education, and from 5.6% to 11.3% for upper secondary education during the same period. However, the quality of secondary education remains an issue.
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013
The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) between Burkina Faso and the World Bank was prepared in a participatory manner, through intensive consultation with all stakeholders, including the private sector, regional and local governments, parliament, academicians, discussion groups, the media, civil society representatives, and the donor community. The CPS was endorsed by the World Bank’s Board on September 19, 2013.
The World Bank’s total commitment to Burkina Faso stands at US$1,147.11 million, with US$1,098.51 million coming from the International Development Association (IDA). The International Finance Corporation (IFC) commitment stands at US$48.6 million, mainly for mining and telecommunications projects. The current World Bank portfolio is composed of 17 national projects and 6 regional projects.
IFC in Burkina Faso
IFC has been engaged with Burkina Faso since 2006, working on improving the business climate, cross-border trade, putting in place Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) reforms, and even initiatives to support the leasing and private healthcare sectors in the country. IFC is also directly involved in financing projects and arranges guarantees and loans for local financial institutions.
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013
Below are a few sectors in which the World Bank has contributed to Burkina Faso’s development performance:
The National Land Management Program (PNGT) is aimed at building the institutional capacity of local communities and facilitating decentralization. Burkina Faso received a grant of US$70 million from the World Bank and US$7.71 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Burkina Faso, which has no known fossil fuel resources, developed a power pool strategy with its neighbors (Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, starting in 2017) and a thermal power generation strategy. The other renewable energy sources, mainly solar power, are not used despite the fact that Burkina Faso has a high annual level of sunshine. The World Bank is therefore working with IFC to develop a solution that will supply 20 megawatts of solar power by 2014, with a target of 60 megawatts by 2017.
The work of the transport sector (US$108 million) includes the rehabilitation of 3,336 kilometers of unsurfaced roads.
IFC has been funding Air Burkina since 2009 in the form of a loan of US$19.5 million to buy new aircraft.
The Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (PACDE), with a US$30.7 million budget plus US$20 million in additional financing, has contributed to the development of the country’s private sector by creating the conditions to improve business competitiveness and promote investment. The Burkina Faso House of Enterprises (Maison de l’Entreprise du Burkina Faso, MEBF) has contributed to business development and the creation of a one-stop shop housing the Business Formalities Center (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises, CEFORE) to facilitate business start-ups and the Construction Permit Formalities Center (Centre de Facilitation des Actes de Construire, CEFAC) for the issue of construction permits. The Bagré Growth Pole Project funded by the World Bank through a grant of US$115 million is aimed at boosting economic activity in the Bagré growth pole.
Burkina Faso has been declared “Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliant” since February 27, 2013. The country has therefore pledged to disclose the revenue derived from the mining sector.
Water and Sanitation
The Board approved a US$80 million project in May 2009. This new operation aims to support the Government’s work to achieve the water and urban sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013
The Government is coordinating donor activities. Sector dialogue frameworks (CSD) have been set up to monitor the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development (SCADD). An improved version of the Internet-based aid management platform has also been presented to donors, who can now log in remotely to update data on the financing they grant the country.The Government has drawn up a National Action Plan for Effective Development Cooperation (PANED) to replace the National Action Plan for Aid Effectiveness (PANEA). This technical adjustment follows the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.