Social situation Significant progress in the areas of health and education

Since the 1990s, Burkina Faso has made significant progress in terms of development. Maternal mortality has almost been halved, and the proportion of children attending primary school has increased significantly – from 32.5 per cent (1990) to 78.6 per cent (2018).

School girl in Burkina Faso

School girl in Burkina Faso

School girl in Burkina Faso

In particular, the share of girls going to school has risen significantly. There have also been great improvements in access to clean drinking water (1990: 41 per cent, 2015: 82 per cent).

Burkina Faso has also been very successful in reducing HIV infection rates – from 2.1 per cent in 2001 to 0.7 per cent in 2018. Slow progress is also being made on reducing child mortality. Under-five mortality has been declining steadily since 1994, from about 201 per 1,000 live births to 76 (in 2018). However, this rate is still very high. Almost half the population is under the age of 15. Life expectancy is 60 years.

Structural poverty is the core problem

Whilst some achievements have been made, there is still a need for broad socio-economic and political reform. Structural poverty is a key problem in Burkina Faso: 40 per cent of the population of around 19 million live below the absolute poverty line. On the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), Burkina Faso is ranked 182nd of the 189 countries reviewed.