Burkina Faso (UK: /bɜːrˌkiːnə ˈfæsoʊ/, US: /- ˈfɑːsoʊ/ (About this soundlisten); French: [buʁkina faso]) is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest. The July 2019 population estimate by the United Nations was 20,321,378. Previously called Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), it was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984 by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé or Burkinabè (/bɜːrˈkiːnəbeɪ/ bur-KEE-nə-bay), and its capital is Ouagadougou. Due to French colonialism, the country’s official language of government and business is French, but this language is spoken by approximately only 10-15% of the population. There are 59 native languages spoken in Burkina, with the most common language, Moore, spoken by roughly 50% of Burkinabé.
Ouagadougou (/ˌwɑːɡəˈduːɡuː/, Mossi: [ˈwɔɣədəɣʊ], French: [waɡaduɡu]) is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural, and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country’s largest city, with a population of 2,200,000 in 2015. The city’s name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies.
Ouagadougou’s primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport and is linked by rail to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and, for freight only, to Kaya. There are several highways linking the city to Niamey, Niger, south to Ghana, and southwest to Ivory Coast. Ouagadougou has one of West Africa’s largest markets, which burned down in 2003 and has since reopened with better facilities and improved fire-prevention measures. Other attractions include the National Museum of Burkina Faso, the Moro-Naba Palace (site of the Moro-Naba Ceremony), the National Museum of Music, and several craft markets.