Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation of about 18 million people in sub-Saharan West Africa. Formerly a colony of France known as the Upper Volta, the country became independent in 1960 and is today driven by an economy based primarily around cotton and its significant gold reserves. Its capital is Ouagadougou. Blaise Compaoré has been President of Burkina Faso since 1987.
Burkina Faso is one of the world's poorest countries and has endured significant domestic unrest since independence. Internationally, a border dispute with neighbouring Niger was resolved in 2012, and Burkina Faso's government mediated that same year in the Malian conflict.