Poor, but Rich: Burkina Faso
How do we evaluate whether a particular nation is rich or poor? For most, a nation is rich means that nation is financially rich; a nation is poor implies that nation is financially poor. Are you one of those fools who evaluate the richness of nation in that way? If not, proceed.
In this edition, we take you to one of the richest nations in Africa –certainly not in terms of its financial strength. Burkina Faso is the richest country in the African continent in terms of its natural beauty. It is blessed with everything a traveller loves.
It is a former French colony. Not many years have passed since it gained independence. Like most African countries, it is very young. The post-colonial generation of this country is entirely different from the pre-colonials, who were not too different from their counterparts in the Stone Age. The present generation is hugely influenced by the Europeans, manly French. That influence is everywhere.
It is good to note that this national at present does not look like the one which has suffered numerous coups in the recent past. No other country in Africa has every experienced as many coups as this nation has –in the aftermaths of the independence, this country has experienced at least four to six coups. Fortunately, now, here the things remain peaceful to an extent.
It is the colonial rule that has gifted all the country now enjoys. Most post-colonial leaders have done nothing new, but followed the path paved by their erstwhile masters. If someone has tried anything different, it is Thomas Sankara. Even the present name of this nation itself is the contribution of this great leader- its former name is Upper Volta.
It was in the year 1982 that Mr Sankara was first introduced to the people of this country, when he was bestowed the position of Prime Minister by Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo who dethroned the Saye Zerbo led government in that year. Noteworthy, he was that close to the people of the country that the people themselves rallied behind his supporters for him when he was imprisoned unjustifiably. Moreover, he was the only leader who was brought back to power by the people. Notably, when he returned to power as the President after the brief imprisonment, he launched the most ambitious social and economic restructuring program the country ever witnessed. He wanted to implement land redistribution, and to end polygamy, female genital mutilation and forced marriages. He also tried to launch huge infrastructural projects such as road and railway projects, and to light up the mind of people with quality education. But, the destiny was not merciful to him. It pulled him out of the power, and separated his soul from his body.