Burkina Faso, the « country of the honest men », has experienced a strong economic growth over the past few years with a GDP growth rate of 7 % in 2012. Since 1998 the country engaged in a process of progressive privatization and was able to attract foreign investment, mainly in the mining sector. This led to an increase in the export of gold which has become the main source of export revenue. The country was also able to achieve good results in the fight against poverty.
Yet, the majority of the population lives on subsistence economy and approximately 50 percent of the Burkinabe people still live below the poverty line. A strong inequality in matters of education, health and income persists and contradicts development efforts. Moreover, the political transformation has reached an impasse. The efforts of the government do not sufficiently foster democratic structures. Consequently, the Burkinabe nation is politically disillusioned as is mirrored in low election turnouts. Click here to find out more about the political and economic system of Burkina Faso.
However, Burkina Faso’s civil society is very active and diversified. It could develop into a real counterbalance to the government. The civil society associations are capable of integrating large parts of the population and contribute significantly towards the absorption of the democratic conscience and action.
By putting the stress of its work on decentralization, democratization and the prevention of conflicts the Hanns Seidel Foundation accompanies and supports the process of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the entire region and particularly in Burkina Faso. In partnership with the National APRM Commission and the Labo cityenneté the HSF envisages to put decentralized structures in place and to sensitize the population to this process within the framework of an EU tender that was recently won by the foundation. Through this tender the HSF organizes the regional dialogue between the national APRM commissions of five West African countries including Burkina Faso. In order to further citizen participation and the process of decentralization the Hanns Seidel Foundation likewise encourages the civic dialogue on the communal level. In this regard the HSF works with the Réseau d’Initiative de Journalistes to foster the local media landscape as well as with the municipality of Yako in training the communal services in good governance. Find out more about our partners and projects.