Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso





Quick reference

General issues: Republic 1984-Present

Country name on general issues: Burkina Faso

Currency: 1 (CFA) Franc = 100 Centimes 1984-Present

Population: 7 688 000 in 1984, 16 930 000 in 2013

Political history Burkina Faso

Postal history Burkina Faso

Please click on the image to enlarge

Burkina Faso is located in western Africa. In the second part of the 19th century the future Burkina Faso is home to four larger and a number of smaller kingdoms – the smaller kingdoms being tributaries to the larger kingdoms. The most important kingdom is the centrally located Mossi kingdom of Ouagadougou. The Mossi are the largest population group in Burkina Faso and a Niger-Congo people as are the other population groups in Burkina Faso.

The French first make contact with the kingdoms in the 1880’s and 1890’s. In 1895, the Yatenga kingdom is the first to become a French protectorate. In 1896, Ouagadoudou becomes a French protectorate. In subsequent years all of current Burkina Faso is brought under French rule as part of French Sudan. French Sudan is split up in 1899 and Burkina Faso, subsequently, is part of Upper Senegal & Middle Niger, Senegambia & Niger and Upper Senegal & Niger. Part of Burkina Faso, from 1899 until 1907, is transferred to Dahomey, the current Benin. The border with British Ghana is defined in a treaty with the British in 1898.

In 1919, Upper Volta is established as a separate colony within French West Africa with the goal to protect the Mossi identity. A border adjustment with Niger is effected in 1927. In 1932, it is decided to split up Upper Volta. The reason being that by doing so the larger part of Upper Volta that is to become part of Ivory Coast will benefit from the stronger economic development in Ivory Coast. Upper Volta is – effective as of 1933- divided between Ivory Coast, French Sudan and Niger. The reorganization of the French colonial empire after WWII triggers the Mossi to lobby for the reestablishment of a Mossi state. The lobby is successful: in 1947 Upper Volta is reinstated – now as a French overseas territory.

Upper Volta gains self government in 1958 and independence in 1960 as the republic of Upper Volta. The name of the country is changed to Burkina Faso in 1984. Burkina Faso is a combination of Mossi and Mande words, the Mande being the second largest population group in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso means ‘land of people of integrity’.

Burkina Faso, since independence, has known several – military – coups d’ etat. The economy is largely based on agriculture, the main product being cotton.

Postal history Burkina Faso

Postal history Burkina Faso

1986 – Dodo carnival

Until the establishment of Upper Volta the stamps used in what is now Burkina Faso are those of French Sudan, then Senegambia & Niger and then those of Upper Senegal & Niger. Upper Volta has issued stamps from 1920 until 1932. After Upper Volta has been divided in 1933, the stamps of French Sudan, Ivory Coast and Dahomey have been used in the parts transferred to these countries. All these to be superseded by the issues of French West Africa from 1944 until 1959. Upper Volta again issues stamps from 1959, these to  be superseded by the issues of Burkina Faso from 1984.


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