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Burkina Faso

Political Status: Became independent as the Republic of Upper Volta on August 5, 1960; under largely military rule 1966–1978; constitution of November 27, 1977, suspended upon military coup of November 25, 1980; present name adopted August 4, 1984; multiparty constitution adopted by popular referendum on June 2, 1991.

Area: 105,869 sq. mi. (274,200 sq. km.).

Population: 10,312,609 (1996C); 14,299,000 (2007E).

Major Urban Center (2005E): OUAGADOUGOU (1,150,000).

Official Language: French.

Monetary Unit: CFA franc (official rate November 1, 2008: 517.30 CFA francs = $1US). The CFA franc, previously pegged to the French franc, is now permanently pegged to the euro at 655.957 CFA francs = 1 euro.

President: Capt. Blaise COMPAORÉ (Congress of Democracy and Progress); leader of military coup that overthrew Cdr. Thomas SANKARA on October 15, 1987; popularly elected (as ...

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