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It was formerly known as Upper Volta, and adopted its current name after it gained its independence from France August 5, 1960. 4. The official language is French, since Burkina Faso was colonized by France. Other languages spoken include Mòoré, Gourma, Fulfulde, Dioula, Tamasheq.

  • Most food in Burkina Faso comes with sauce. Staple foods are sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, potatoes, bean, yams and okra.

About 80% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.Popular sports in Burkina Faso are: soccer, handball, cycling, basketball and boxing.

Burkina Faso is home to 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music.

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Burkina Faso is a leader in African art and culture and hosts the largest craft market in Africa.

The Bobo, one of the ethnic groups in Burkina Faso make large butterfly masks, painted in stripes of red, white and black which are used to invoke the deity Do in fertility ceremonies. The Mossi are known for their antelope masks. The Lobi carve wood.

60% of the population is Muslim, while 19% is Catholic, 15% are Animists, and 5% are Protestants.

The University of Ouagadougou founded in 1974, was the country’s first institution of higher education. The Polytechnic University in Bobo-Diolasso was opened in 1995. The University of Koudougou was founded in 2005, replacing the former “Ecole Normal Superieur de Koudougou.”

Gold is Burkina Faso’s main export, followed by cotton and animal products. Burkina Faso is Africa’s largest producer of cotton. In 2010, almost 80% of the cotton planted in Burkina Faso was grown from genetically modified seeds. Burkina is second only to South Africa as Africa’s largest producer of biotech crops (100% of it cotton), and had the world’s second-fastest growing acreage of biotech crops after Australia. The Monsanto Company remains a major partner in this endeavor.