Burkina Faso has one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world: $1,200. Agriculture represents 32% of its gross domestic product and occupies 80% of the working population. It consists mostly of livestock but also, especially in the south and southwest, of growing sorghum, pearl millet, maize (corn),peanuts, rice and cotton. A large part of the economic activity of the country is funded by international aid.
Remittances used to be an important source of income to Burkina Faso until the 1990s, when unrest in Côte d'Ivoire, the main destination for Burkinabe emigrants, forced many to return home. Remittances now account for less than 1 percent of GDP. Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average income per capita of €250 (US$300). More than 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, with only a small fraction directly involved in industry and services. Highly variable rainfall, poor soils, lack of adequate communications and other infrastructure, a low literacy rate, and a stagnant economy are all longstanding problems of this landlocked country. The export economy also remains subject to fluctuations in world prices.
The country has a high population density, few natural resources, and a fragile soil. Industry remains dominated by unprofitable government-controlled corporations. Following the African franc currency devaluation in January 1994 the government updated its development program in conjunction with international agencies, and exports and economic growth have increased. The Burkinabé financial system represents 30 percent of the country’s GDP and is dominated by the banking sector, which accounts for 90 percent of total financial system assets. Eleven banks and five non-bank financial institutions operate in the country. The banking sector is highly concentrated, with the three largest banks holding nearly 60 percent of total financial sector assets. Banks are generally...
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