Burkina Faso 1982

By | September 13, 2023

Burkina Faso in 1982: A Year of Transition and Political Change

In 1982, Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African nation, was undergoing significant political change and transition. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Burkina Faso in 1982, covering its political landscape, economy, society, and key developments during that period.

Historical Context

Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960. In the years that followed, the country experienced political instability and military coups. By 1982, Burkina Faso was under the leadership of President Thomas Sankara, who came to power in a coup in 1983.

Political Landscape

In 1982, Burkina Faso was in the midst of political transformation. Key features of the country’s political landscape during that time included:

  1. President Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo: At the beginning of 1982, Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo was the President of Burkina Faso. He had taken office in 1980 following a military coup.
  2. Political Instability: According to hyperrestaurant, the country had experienced multiple coups and leadership changes in the previous decades, leading to political instability and uncertainty.
  3. Transition to Thomas Sankara’s Leadership: In August 1983, Thomas Sankara, a charismatic and left-leaning military officer, seized power in a coup, bringing a new era of leadership to Burkina Faso.
  4. Sankara’s Policies: Sankara initiated a series of reforms and policies focused on social justice, anti-corruption, and self-reliance. His government also changed the country’s name from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means “Land of Upright People.”
  5. Alignment with Socialist Bloc: Sankara aligned Burkina Faso with the socialist bloc and adopted policies inspired by Marxist-Leninist principles.


Burkina Faso’s economy in 1982 was primarily agrarian, with a significant portion of the population engaged in subsistence farming. Key features of the Burkinabé economy during that time included:

  1. Agriculture: Agriculture was the backbone of the economy, with crops such as millet, sorghum, maize, and cotton being vital for both subsistence and export.
  2. Livestock: Livestock farming, particularly cattle herding, played a crucial role in rural livelihoods.
  3. Mining: Burkina Faso had limited mineral resources, including gold and limestone, which contributed to the economy.
  4. Foreign Aid: The country relied on foreign aid and development assistance to support its economic development efforts.
  5. Infrastructure Development: The government invested in infrastructure development, including road construction and irrigation projects, to enhance agricultural productivity and rural development.

Society and Culture

Burkina Faso’s society and culture in 1982 were influenced by a rich tapestry of ethnic groups and traditional practices. Key aspects of Burkinabé society and culture during that period included:

  1. Ethnic Diversity: Burkina Faso was home to multiple ethnic groups, each with its own languages, customs, and traditions.
  2. Religion: The majority of the population practiced Islam, Christianity, or indigenous African religions. Religious diversity was a characteristic feature.
  3. Traditional Arts: Traditional arts and crafts, including weaving, pottery, and mask-making, were important cultural expressions.
  4. Music and Dance: Music and dance played a central role in Burkinabé culture, with traditional rhythms and instruments being widely used.
  5. Oral Traditions: Oral storytelling and oral history were essential for passing down cultural knowledge and traditions.
  6. Gender Roles: Gender roles were largely traditional, with distinct expectations for men and women in society.

Key Developments and Challenges

In 1982, Burkina Faso faced several key developments and challenges:

  1. Political Transition: The country was in the early stages of a political transition under President Thomas Sankara. His ambitious reforms and socialist policies aimed to address deep-rooted issues of corruption, inequality, and poverty.
  2. Economic Transformation: Sankara’s government introduced agricultural and land reforms to improve food self-sufficiency and reduce dependence on foreign aid. These reforms faced resistance from traditional elites.
  3. Social Programs: The government initiated social programs to improve healthcare, education, and access to clean water, with a focus on rural development.
  4. Foreign Policy Shift: Burkina Faso’s foreign policy shifted towards non-alignment and close relations with other African countries, particularly those pursuing socialist ideologies.
  5. Youth Mobilization: Sankara’s government actively mobilized young people to participate in development projects and to contribute to the country’s transformation.


In 1982, Burkina Faso was at a crossroads, with President Thomas Sankara’s leadership marking a significant departure from the country’s past. The pursuit of socialist policies and an emphasis on self-reliance were central to Sankara’s vision for Burkina Faso’s future.

Over the years, Burkina Faso would continue to grapple with complex challenges, including political instability, economic development, and social progress. The legacy of Thomas Sankara, who would be assassinated in 1987, continues to influence the nation’s identity and aspirations, making 1982 a pivotal year in the country’s history.

Primary education in Burkina Faso

Primary Education in Burkina Faso: Nurturing the Foundations of Knowledge and Development

Primary education in Burkina Faso plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the nation, providing children with fundamental knowledge and skills needed for personal growth, civic participation, and economic development. This article offers a comprehensive overview of primary education in Burkina Faso, covering its structure, curriculum, challenges, and recent developments.

Historical Context

According to allcitycodes, Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African country formerly known as Upper Volta, gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960. Since then, the country has made efforts to expand and improve its education system. However, it faces challenges due to factors such as poverty, limited infrastructure, and a rapidly growing population.

Structure of Primary Education

In Burkina Faso, primary education, known as “l’enseignement fondamental,” is compulsory and free. It typically spans six years, starting around the age of six. The structure of primary education is as follows:

  1. Cycle 1: This initial cycle covers the first three years, corresponding to Grades 1 to 3. During this stage, the emphasis is on acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills.
  2. Cycle 2: The second cycle spans Grades 4 to 6 and continues to build on the foundational skills acquired in the first cycle. Subjects become more varied and include additional subjects beyond reading and math.


The curriculum for primary education in Burkina Faso is determined by the Ministry of National Education and Literacy (Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale et de l’Alphabétisation). The curriculum aims to provide a well-rounded education, with key components including:

  1. Languages: The official language of instruction is French. In addition to French, local languages are also introduced as part of efforts to promote multilingualism and cultural preservation.
  2. Mathematics: Mathematics education covers concepts such as arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and basic statistics.
  3. Science: Primary education introduces students to basic scientific principles and concepts in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics.
  4. Social Studies: This subject area includes lessons on history, geography, and civics, helping students develop an understanding of their country and the world.
  5. Physical Education: Physical education classes promote physical fitness and health awareness among students.
  6. Arts and Culture: Burkina Faso places importance on cultural education, including traditional music, dance, and art.
  7. Ethics and Citizenship: Lessons on ethics, citizenship, and social responsibility are included to help students become informed and responsible citizens.
  8. Environmental Education: Environmental education is integrated into the curriculum to raise awareness about conservation and sustainable practices.

Challenges and Issues

While Burkina Faso has made strides in expanding access to primary education, it faces several challenges and issues:

  1. Access to Education: Despite being compulsory and free, access to quality primary education remains a challenge, particularly in rural and remote areas.
  2. Quality of Education: The quality of education varies widely, with issues such as overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of qualified teachers, and limited teaching materials.
  3. Gender Disparities: Gender disparities persist, with girls facing barriers to education, including early marriage and cultural norms that prioritize boys’ education.
  4. Infrastructure: Many schools lack adequate infrastructure, including classrooms, sanitation facilities, and access to clean water.
  5. Teacher Training: The recruitment and professional development of qualified teachers, especially in remote areas, are ongoing challenges.
  6. Multilingual Education: Promoting multilingual education while providing quality instruction in local languages is a complex task that requires careful planning.

Recent Developments

In recent years, Burkina Faso has taken several initiatives to address the challenges in its primary education system and enhance its quality:

  1. Teacher Training: The government has invested in teacher training programs to improve the qualifications and skills of educators, particularly in rural and underserved areas.
  2. Infrastructure Improvement: Efforts have been made to upgrade school infrastructure, including the construction of new classrooms and the provision of sanitation facilities.
  3. Inclusivity: Burkina Faso has implemented policies to promote gender equality in education, aiming to eliminate barriers that hinder girls’ access to schooling.
  4. Curriculum Reforms: Ongoing curriculum reforms seek to make education more relevant and responsive to the needs of students and society, with a focus on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  5. Community Engagement: Encouraging community involvement and parental engagement in education has been a key strategy to improve the quality of primary education.


Primary education in Burkina Faso is a fundamental stage in the country’s educational system, serving as the cornerstone for future learning and development. The government’s commitment to providing access to free and compulsory primary education, along with ongoing efforts to address challenges and enhance quality, reflects Burkina Faso’s dedication to nurturing its young citizens and preparing them for the opportunities and challenges of the modern world.

As Burkina Faso continues to work towards improving primary education, it remains critical for the nation’s progress, human capital development, and the overall well-being of its people.