Former French colony of the Alto Volta becomes Burkina Faso in 1984.
The name Burkina Faso means "the land of the honourable men", and was established by Thomas Sankara, who during only 4 years of presidency has introduced numerous social reforms. He was assassinated in 1987.
The country is located in the heart of West Africa, with no landings on the sea. Most of the rivers, the Volta, the Comoé and the Niger, are seasonal and remain dry from November to June.
Located at 183rd place out of 189 countries (UN Human Development Report), it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Its economy is based on agriculture, which is constantly threatened by drought, and livestock farming, as well as international aid.