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U.S. Department of State 
Burkina Faso Country Commercial Guide 
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs 
 
 
                       Country Commercial Guide 
 
                            Burkina Faso 
 
                          Fiscal Year 1996 
 
 
This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Burkina Faso's commercial environment through economic, political and 
market analyses.   
 
The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion 
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate 
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annualy at U.S. Embassies through 
the combined efforts of several U.S. governement agencies.   
 
 
PREAMBLE 
--------------------- 
1.  POST HAS BEEN RECLASSIFIED A SPECIAL EMBASSY PROGRAM (SEP) MISSION, 
HENCE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF SUBMITTING A COUNTRY COMMERCIAL 
GUIDE (CCG).  HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THE EXTRA EFFORT REQUIRED TO PRODUCE 
THIS REDESIGNED KEY REPORT IS WORTHWHILE. 
 
2.  WHILE THE U.S. BUSINESS COMMUNITY PURSUING TRADE OPPORTUNITIES IN 
BURKINA FASO MAY BE SMALL, OPPORTUNITIES DO EXIST.  IN THE PREPARATION 
OF THIS REPORT WE PARTICULARLY COMMEND THE CONTRIBUTION OF SUMMER INTERN 
AMY LAROQUE.   
 
3.  POST'S CCG SUBMISSION IS AS FOLLOWS:   
 
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
------------------- 
I. COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
II. ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
III. POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
IV. MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
V. LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
VI. TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
VII. INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
VIII. TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
IX. APPENDICES 
 
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CHAPTER I: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
 
DUE TO THE DOMINANCE OF SUBSISTENCE-STYLE AGRICULTURE AND LOW PER 
CAPITAL INCOME, BURKINA FASO COULD BE CONSIDERED A SMALL MARKET.  
NEVERTHELESS, THE OUTLOOK FOR U.S. TRADE AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IS 
POSITIVE.  BURKINA HAS STEADILY PURSUED A WORLD BANK/IMF STRUCTURAL 
ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM SINCE 1991.  WITHIN THIS FRAMEWORK, THE PUBLIC SECTOR 
IS BEING STREAMLINED, PRIVATIZATION IS WELL-UNDERWAY, MOST TRADE 
BARRIERS HAVE BEEN LIFTED AND PRICES LIBERALIZED.   
 
AS A MEMBER OF THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY AND ECONOMIC UNION (UEMOA), 
BURKINA'S CURRENCY IS THE COMMUNITY OF FRENCH AFRICA FRANC (CFAF).  
BACKED BY THE FRENCH TREASURY AND TIED IN PARITY WITH THE FRENCH FRANC, 
THE CFA FRANC IS FULLY CONVERTIBLE. 
 
IN JANUARY, 1994, THE CHRONICALLY OVERVALUED CURRENCY WAS DEVALUED BY 50 
PERCENT.  WHILE THE EVENT SENT MANAGEABLE ECONOMIC SHOCK WAVES THROUGH 
THE BURKINABE ECONOMY, IT ALSO HOLDS THE PROMISE FOR U.S. EXPORTS TO 
BETTER COMPETE WITH THEIR FRENCH COUNTERPARTS, TRADITIONALLY DOMINATING 
THE BURKINABE MARKET.   
 
COMPETITIVELY-PRICED NECESSITIES SUCH AS GENERIC PHARMACEUTICALS ARE 
BEST POISED TO ENTER THE POST-DEVALUATION MARKET.  CONSULTANCY SERVICE 
IS ALSO AN UP-AND-COMING EXPORT SECTOR.   
 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, AND USED CLOTHING ARE U.S. 
EXPORTS WHICH ALREADY CAPTURE MARKET SHARE IN BURKINA AND ARE WORTH 
PURSUING. 
 
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IS WELCOME IN BURKINA FASO.  THE INVESTMENT AND 
MINING CODES HAVE BEEN UPDATED TO ENABLE FULL REPATRIATION OF PROFITS, 
ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT OWNERSHIP OF COMPANIES, AND THE CODES PROVIDE FOR 
MANY TAX EXEMPTIONS.  INVESTORS IN THE MINING INDUSTRY (PARTICULARLY THE 
GOLD SECTOR) HAVE BEGUN TO SHOW INTEREST IN BURKINA AS FAVORABLE WORLD 
PRICES ADD TO BURKINA'S LIBERALIZED MINING CODE.  ELSEWHERE, GROWTH IN 
INVESTMENT HAS BEEN SLOW AS INVESTORS APPEAR TO TAKING A WAIT-AND-SEE 
ATTITUDE. 
 
THE SMALL SIZE OF BURKINA FASO'S MARKET IS OFFSET BY ITS STABLE 
COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT AS WELL AS THE POTENTIAL IT OFFERS FOR 
EXPLOITATION OF THE LARGER WEST AFRICAN FRANCOPHONE MARKET.  BURKINA IS 
CONNECTED BY RAILWAY TO ABIDJAN, A MODERN PORT CITY AND CAPITAL OF THE 
POTENTIAL ECONOMIC "ELEPHANT" - COTE D'IVOIRE.  THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF 
BURKINA FASO HAS BEEN IN POWER SINCE 1987.  THE TRANSITION TO DEMOCRATIC 
GOVERNMENT HE SET IN MOTION PROGRESSES, MOST RECENTLY FEATURING PEACEFUL 
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (1995).     
 
COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE NATIONAL TRADE DATA BANK 
ON CD-ROM OR THROUGH THE INTERNET.  PLEASE CONTACT STAT-USA AT 1-800-
STAT-USA FOR MORE INFORMATION.  TO LOCATE COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDES VIA 
THE INTERNET, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING WORLD WIDE WEB ADDRESS:  
WWW.STAT-USA.GOV.  CCGS CAN ALSO BE ORDERED IN HARD COPY OR ON DISKETTE 
FROM THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE (NTIS) AT 1-800-553-
NTIS.   
 
CHAPTER II: ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
 
MAJOR TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
 
BURKINA FASO IS A SMALL, LANDLOCKED SAHELIAN COUNTRY WITH APPROXIMATELY 
80 PERCENT OF ITS 9.5 MILLION PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON SUBSISTENCE-STYLE 
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION FOR SURVIVAL. THE AVERAGE PER CAPITA INCOME IS 
USD 300 (ABOUT 150,000 CFA FRANCS).  THIS RANKS BURKINA FASO AMONG THE 
POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.   
 
IN JANUARY 1994, THE CFA FRANC WAS DEVALUED BY FIFTY PERCENT. THIS 
DEVALUATION, ON TOP OF THE IMF-DIRECTED STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM 
(SAP), UNDERWAY SINCE 1991, GENERATED FEARS OF UNMANAGEABLE INFLATION 
AND SOCIAL STRAIN.  HOWEVER, PRICES HAVE BEEN STABILIZED AND SOME 
POSITIVE ECONOMIC SIGNS ARE BEGINNING TO EMERGE.  DESPITE AN IMMEDIATE 
POST-DEVALUATION JUMP IN PRICES, INFLATION WAS HEMMED IN TO 27 PERCENT 
IN 1994.  GDP INCREASED BY ONLY 1 PERCENT IN 1994, BUT IS EXPECTED TO 
REACH 3 PERCENT IN 1995 AND 5 PERCENT BY 1997.  EXPORTS HAVE RESPONDED 
TO EXCHANGE RATE INCENTIVES.  THEY INCREASED BY 91.6 PERCENT IN VALUE 
DURING 1994. 
 
CONFIDENCE IN BURKINA'S IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT AGENDA 
IS EVIDENCED BY SUBSTANTIAL INFLOWS OF DONOR ASSISTANCE IN 1994 - USD 
261.1 MILLION - MOST OF WHICH WAS AIMED AT FURTHERING BUDGETARY 
EQUILIBRIUM. 
 
WHILE SOME NEW INVESTMENT HAS BEGUN TO GRAVITATE TOWARD'S BURKINA'S 
NEWLY LIBERALIZED MINING SECTOR (GOLD, MANGANESE, ZINC), OTHER SECTORS 
HAVE YET TO EXPERIENCE NOTABLE GROWTH, AS INVESTORS APPEAR TO BE WAITING 
FOR MORE DEFINITE SIGNS OF SUCCESS IN THE ADJUSTMENT PROCESS. 
 
PRINCIPAL GROWTH SECTORS 
 
BURKINA'S ECONOMY IS TRADITIONALLY DOMINATED BY THE PRIMARY SECTOR 
(AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND AQUACULTURE) WHICH EMPLOYS 85 
PERCENT OF THE POPULATION AND ACCOUNTS FOR NEARLY 60 PERCENT OF EXPORT 
EARNINGS.  THE STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM AND DEVALUATION HAVE BOTH 
INDUCED GREATER RETURNS FOR THIS SECTOR AS INDICATED BY THE INCREASE IN 
EXPORT VALUES.  LIVESTOCK, GREEN BEANS, AND COTTON EXPORTS INCREASED IN 
VALUE BY 212, 89, AND 66 PERCENT RESPECTIVELY IN 1994, WITH COTTON 
EARNING APPROXIMATELY 35 PERCENT OF BURKINA'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE. 
 
THE SECONDARY SECTOR IN BURKINA REPRESENTS APPROXIMATELY 15 PERCENT OF 
GDP AND IS COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF AGRO-INDUSTRIAL AND IMPORT-
SUBSTITUTION GOODS.  THIS SECTOR EXPERIENCED NEGATIVE GROWTH IN 1994.  
THIS WAS DUE, IN LARGE PART, TO THE LIFTING OF PROTECTIVE TARIFFS AS 
WELL AS TO THE INCREASED COST OF IMPORTED INPUTS STEMMING FROM THE 
DEVALUATION. 
 
NEVERTHELESS, SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL FOR PROFIT IN MINERAL EXPLOITATION 
EXISTS IN BURKINA FASO SINCE THE WORLD PRICE OF GOLD HAS INCREASED.  
GOLD EXPORTS, WHICH INCREASED IN VALUE BY 72 PERCENT IN 1994, ARE 
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO RISE IN THE COMING YEARS.  
 
FINALLY, THE TERTIARY SECTOR, CONTRIBUTING ABOUT 41 PERCENT IN VALUE-
ADDED TO THE ECONOMY, IS POISED FOR GROWTH.  THIS SECTOR IS DOMINATED BY 
THE SO-CALLED "INFORMAL SECTOR" (70 PERCENT); STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT 
PROGRAMS HAVE TARGETED THE TYPICALLY SMALL, MEDIUM, AND MICRO-SIZE 
ENTERPRISES OF THIS SECTOR THROUGH THE EASING OF REGISTRATION 
REGULATIONS AND CREDIT DIRECTED PROGRAMS. 
 
GOVERNMENT ROLE IN THE ECONOMY  
 
THE BURKINABE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ENCOURAGING A MORE ACTIVE ROLE OF THE 
PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE CABINET CONTAINS SEVERAL MINISTERS WITH 
BACKGROUNDS IN FINANCE AND COMMERCE. 
 
IN 1991, BURKINA FASO ADOPTED A STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM (SAP) AND 
CONTINUED WITH AN ENHANCED STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT FACILITY (ESAF), 
NEGOTIATED IN 1993.  THE PROGRAMS ARE EFFECTIVELY LIBERALIZING THE 
PREVIOUSLY STATE-LED ECONOMY.  PRICES HAVE BEEN FREED-UP AND THE PUBLIC 
SECTOR HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURED.  FOURTEEN STATE-ENTERPRISES HAVE BEEN 
PRIVATIZED TO DATE, SEVEN LIQUIDATED, AND TWENTY-FOUR ADDITIONAL 
PARASTATALS ARE SLATED FOR SALE. THE BANKING SECTOR HAS PARTICIPATED IN 
THIS PRIVATIZATION PROCESS. 
 
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS SITUATION 
 
AS BURKINA FASO MUST IMPORT THE BULK OF ITS CONSUMER AND MANUFACTURED 
GOODS AND EQUIPMENT FROM ABROAD, THE COUNTRY SUFFERS FROM A CHRONIC 
TRADE IMBALANCE.  BURKINA'S LARGEST TRADING PARTNER AMONG EUROPEAN 
COUNTRIES IS FRANCE BUT IT ALSO IMPORTS GOODS FROM COTE D'IVOIRE, 
NIGERIA, USA, JAPAN, GERMANY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND TAIWAN.  COTTON, 
LIVESTOCK, AND GOLD ARE ITS PRINCIPAL EXPORTS.   
 
NOTWITHSTANDING ITS TRADE IMBALANCES, BURKINA'S ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMS HAVE 
IMPROVED BURKINA'S BALANCE OF PAYMENTS OUTLOOK TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.  THE 
TRADE DEFICIT WAS REDUCED FROM  USD 230 MILLION (1993) TO USD 105 
MILLION (1994), WHILE THE INFLOW OF UNILATERAL TRANSFERS HAS FACILITATED 
SETTLING OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ARREARS. 
 
INFRASTRUCTURE SITUATION 
 
BURKINA FASO OFFERS A LIMITED BUT GOOD INFRASTRUCTURE FOR BUSINESS.  THE 
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDES 400 MILES OF RAILWAY AND 10,000 MILES 
OF ROAD, 1,000 MILES OF WHICH ARE PAVED.  OUAGADOUGOU IS LINKED TO BOTH 
BOBO-DIOULASSO (BURKINA FASO'S SECOND LARGEST CITY AND A KEY COMMERCIAL 
CENTER) AND ABIDJAN (COTE D'IVOIRE) BY PAVED ROAD AND RAILWAY.  ABIDJAN 
IS ONE OF TWO MAJOR PORTS USED BY BURKINA FASO FOR BULK IMPORTS AND 
EXPORTS. 
 
INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT FORWARDERS AND EXPRESS MAILING AGENCIES ARE 
ESTABLISHED IN BURKINA FASO.  INTERNATIONAL AIR SERVICE IS PROVIDED BY 
AIR AFRIQUE, AIR FRANCE, SABENA, AIR ALGERIE, AND AEROFLOT.  AIR IVOIRE 
AND AIR BURKINA PROVIDE REGIONAL SERVICE TO THE CAPITALS OF MOST 
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. 
 
BURKINA FASO OFFERS DIRECT-DIAL SATELLITE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TO EUROPE 
AND AMERICA. SERVICE IS EXPENSIVE BUT RELIABLE.  ELECTRICITY, WHICH IS 
ALSO EXPENSIVE, IS GENERATED BY DIESEL TURBINES AND HYDRO-ELECTRIC DAMS; 
BURKINA HAS A 120,000 KILOWATT CAPACITY.  OCCASIONAL SHORTAGES OCCUR AT 
PEAK HOURS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE MARCH-JUNE HOT SEASON. 
 
IN ADDITION TO TRADE AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS, AN ACTIVE CHAMBER OF 
COMMERCE AND A SYSTEM OF TRADE UNIONS PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR ALL TYPES OF 
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES.  BURKINA FASO HAS ONE FIRST-CLASS HOTEL, THE HOTEL 
SILMANDE, IN ADDITIONAL TO SEVERAL SMALLER HOTELS THAT ARE CAPABLE OF 
PROVIDING VERY GOOD FACILITIES AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR BUSINESS 
ACTIVITIES.  CONFERENCE ROOMS, SMALL MEETING ROOMS, RECEPTION ROOMS, 
SPACE FOR COMMERCIAL EXHIBITIONS, SECRETARIAL SUPPORT, AND CAR RENTAL 
SERVICES CAN BE PROVIDED. THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CAN ALSO OFFER 
FACILITIES FOR BUSINESS MEETINGS.  
 
CHAPTER III:  POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
 
NATURE OF POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES 
 
RELATIONS BETWEEN BURKINA FASO AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN STEADILY 
IMPROVING IN RECENT YEARS, FOLLOWING THE LEFTIST REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD OF 
1982-87.  ALTHOUGH RELATIONS CONTINUE TO BE GUARDED DUE TO BURKINA'S 
REPORTED SUPPORT FOR ONE OF THE FACTIONS INVOLVED IN THE LIBERIA 
CONFLICT, THE GOVERNMENT OF BURKINA FASO APPEARS TO BE MAKING A 
CONCERTED EFFORT TO IMPROVE ITS IMAGE IN THE EYES OF THE UNITED STATES 
AND HAS RECENTLY BEEN PROMOTING PEACE IN THE WEST AFRICAN REGION. 
 
THE U.S. CONTINUES TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO BURKINA IN THE 
FORM OF FOOD AID AND MODEST LEVELS OF REGIONAL AND BILATERAL DEVELOPMENT 
ASSISTANCE.  HOWEVER, THE USAID IN-COUNTRY MISSION WILL CLOSE IN 
SEPTEMBER 1995. 
 
MAJOR POLITICAL ISSUES AFFECTING BUSINESS CLIMATE  
 
BURKINA FASO BOASTS A FAVORABLE COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT LARGELY DUE TO A 
STABLE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CLIMATE.  IN FEBRUARY 1995, BURKINA TOOK THE 
FINAL STEP IN ITS TRANSITION TO A FULLY DEMOCRATIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT, 
THROUGH THE COUNTRY'S FIRST MULTI-PARTY MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.  VOTER 
TURN-OUT WAS HEAVY (75 PERCENT) AND THE PROCESS WAS PEACEFUL.   
 
THE TRANSITION BEGAN IN 1991, WHEN BURKINA ADOPTED A DEMOCRATIC 
CONSTITUTION THAT CREATED THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE COUNTRY'S FOURTH 
REPUBLIC.  THIS SUCCEEDED THE MARXIST-LENINIST REVOLUTION OF 1983 TO 
1987 AND THE TRANSITIONAL REGIME OF PRESIDENT BLAISE CAMPAORE, WHO CAME 
TO POWER THROUGH MILITARY COUP IN 1987.  UNCONTESTED PRESIDENTIAL 
ELECTIONS HELD IN DECEMBER 1991 WERE FOLLOWED BY LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS 
IN MAY 1992 AND THE RECENT MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.   A PROCESS OF 
DECENTRALIZATION IS ALSO UNDERWAY.  
 
COMPAORE'S POLITICAL PARTY - THE ORGANIZATION FOR POPULAR 
DEMOCRACY/LABOR MOVEMENT (ODP/MT) - REMAINS DOMINANT IN ALL SECTORS OF 
THE GOVERNMENT.  THE PARTY CLAIMS POPULIST IDEALS, BUT ON THE ECONOMIC 
FRONT, FREE ENTERPRISE IS ENCOURAGED.  OPPOSITION PARTIES ARE NUMEROUS 
(SIXTY-EIGHT, AT LATEST COUNT), BUT LACK FINANCIAL BACKING OR 
SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE.  
 
DESPITE BURKINA'S FAVORABLE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT, THE COMMERCIAL 
VIABILITY OF THIS LANDLOCKED STATE IS LINKED TO THE STABILITY OF ITS 
NEIGHBORS; THE PORTS OF ABIDJAN (COTE D'IVOIRE) AND LOME (TOGO) SERVE AS 
KEY SHIPPING POINTS FOR BURKINA'S IMPORTS/EXPORTS.  PRESIDENTIAL 
ELECTIONS IN COTE D'IVOIRE ARE PLANNED SLATED FOR NOVEMBER 1995; 
HOWEVER, THIS COUNTRY HAS A LONG HISTORY OF STABILITY.  IN 1994, TOGO 
EXPERIENCED DEMONSTRATIONS AGITATING IN FAVOR OF DEMOCRACY.  THESE WERE 
QUELLED BY THE APPOINTMENT OF A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY TO THE 
VICE-PRESIDENTIAL SEAT.  BURKINA'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAS RECENTLY 
OPENED BRANCHES IN THE PORT CITIES OF COTONOU (BENIN) AND TEMA (GHANA) 
IN EFFORT TO DIVERSIFY ITS PORT ACCESS. 
 
CHAPTER IV: MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
 
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES CHANNELS 
 
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES CHANNELS ARE CONCENTRATED IN BURKINA'S TWO 
LARGEST CITIES - OUAGADOUGOU (ALMOST ONE MILLION INHABITANTS) AND BOBO-
DIOULASSO (500,000). WHILE SECONDARY URBAN AREAS COULD BE CONSIDERED FOR 
DISTRIBUTION OF CURRENT CONSUMABLES (E.G. DAIRY PRODUCTS, EDIBLE OIL, 
BATTERIES), IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT AREAS ARE PRESENTLY WELL SERVED BY 
THE TWO LARGE CITIES.  MAIN COMMERCIAL BANKS AND INSURANCE SERVICES HAVE 
BRANCHES IN SECONDARY URBAN AREAS WHICH ARE LINKED TO OUAGADOUGOU AND 
BOBO-DIOULASSO BY PAVED ROADS OR PARTIALLY PAVED ROADS.  DISTRIBUTION 
AND SALES ENTITIES OPERATE UNDER VARIOUS FORMS, RANGING FROM MODERN 
MINI-MARKETS, SHOPS, AND WAREHOUSES TO INFORMAL SECTOR MARKET STANDS. 
 
USE OF AGENTS AND DISTRIBUTORS/FINDING A PARTNER 
 
WHILE THERE IS NO LAW IN BURKINA FASO REQUIRING RETENTION OF AN 
AGENT/DISTRIBUTOR, THIS IS ADVISABLE.  SELECTING A CAPABLE LOCAL AGENT 
COULD BE CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESSFUL INTRODUCTION OF U.S. PRODUCTS INTO A 
MARKET DOMINATED BY FRENCH PRODUCTS.   
 
THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF BUSINESSMEN IN BURKINA WITH THE PRACTICAL 
EXPERIENCE AND FINANCIAL CAPACITY NECESSARY TO FORM A PARTNERSHIP WITH A 
U.S. FIRM.  MOST ARE ALREADY ACTIVE IN IMPORT-SUBSTITUTION INDUSTRY OR 
COMMERCE.  AN AMERICAN WHO WISHES TO ESTABLISH A PARTNERSHIP SHOULD BE 
PREPARED TO LEND SUPPORT IN PROMOTION ACTIVITIES AND TECHNIQUES AS WELL 
AS AFTER SALE SERVICES. 
 
JOINT VENTURES 
 
TO DATE, THERE ARE SEVERAL BURKINABE JOINT VENTURES IN THE MINING SECTOR 
INVOLVING PARTLY-OWNED U.S. COMPANIES.  MOREOVER, THE BURKINABE BUSINESS 
COMMUNITY IS KNOWN TO BE FAVORABLY DISPOSED TO JOINT VENTURES IN THE 
FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY.   
 
FRANCHISING 
 
FRANCHISING IS NOT YET AN ASSIMILATED DISTRIBUTION TECHNIQUE.  LOCAL 
BUSINESSMEN USUALLY ASK FOR AN EXCLUSIVE AGENT DISTRIBUTOR CONTRACT. 
 
DIRECT MARKETING 
 
DIRECT MARKETING IS A POSSIBLE MARKETING TOOL, ESPECIALLY FOR SELLING TO 
WHOLESALERS (E.G. PHARMACEUTICAL), BUT IS PRESENTLY LITTLE USED IN 
BURKINA.  IN THE CASE OF FOREIGN PARTY BIDS, IT IS ADVISABLE THAT A 
COMPETING U.S. FIRM HIRE A LOCAL CONTACT FOR DIRECT FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS. 
 
ADVERTISING AND TRADE PROMOTION 
 
ADVERTISEMENTS CAN BE MADE DIRECTLY THROUGH NEWSPAPERS OR THROUGH 
ADVERTISING AGENCIES. 
 
- NEWSPAPERS: 
 
  L'OBSERVATEUR PAALGA 
  01 B.P. 584 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL:(226) 30.55.75, FAX: (226) 31.45.79 
 
  SIDWAYA 
  01 B.P. 507 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL: (226) 31.22.89/09, FAX: (226) 31.03.62 
 
  LA LETTRE DE L'ONAC (A MONTHLY COMMERCIAL INFORMATION MAGAZINE) 
  01 B.P. 389 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL: (226) 31.13.00. TELEX: 5258 BF 
 
  L'EXPLORATEUR (MONTHLY ADVERTISEMENT NEWSPAPER) 
  01 B.P. 3234 OUGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL: (226) 30.17.14 
 
- ADVERTISING AGENCIES: 
 
  ZAMA PUBLICITE 
  01 B.P. 3404 OUGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO, TEL: (226) 31.28.86/87 
 
  A.I.C.D. PUBLICITE 
  O1 B.P. 5516 OUGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO, TEL: (226) 30.74.63 
 
  STIMULUS 
  01 B.P. 3835 OUGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO, TEL: (226) 31.27.57 
 
  PROMO PUB 
  01 B.P. 5555 OUGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO, TEL: (226) 30.60.54/55/56 
 
 
THERE IS A MODEST BUT DYNAMIC AND EXPERIENCED CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN 
BURKINA FASO WHICH IS DEDICATED TO THE PROMOTION OF BUSINESS ACTIVITY.  
TO HELP PROMOTE BUSINESSES, THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONDUCTS FEASIBILITY 
STUDIES, CONDUCTS TRAINING, DEVELOPS BUSINESS LINKS, AND ORGANIZES 
PARTICIPATION IN TRADE SHOWS.  THE OFFICE ALSO SERVES AS A BRIDGE 
BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS.  ALL MATTERS 
REGARDING INVESTMENTS, IMPORT-EXPORT REGULATIONS, AND PROCEDURES ARE 
HANDLED BY ONE OFFICE IN THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY AND CRAFTS.  
QUESTIONS MAY BE ADDRESSED TO: 
 
  DIRECTION GENERALE DE LA PROMOTION ECONOMIQUE 
  01 B.P. 258 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL:(226) 30.73.42/07 
  TEL/FAX: (226) 30.73.05 
 
THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF EXTERNAL TRADE (ONAC) PROMOTES BURKINABE EXPORT 
PRODUCTS AND THE COUNTRY'S PARTICIPATION IN TRADE FAIRS, OF WHICH ITS 
OWN INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR (SIAO) IS FAMOUS.  INTERESTED BUSINESSES 
ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE FOLLOWING INSTITUTIONS: 
 
  MR. ALBERT ELISEE KIEMDE 
  SECRETAIRE GENERAL 
   CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE, D'INDUSTRIE ET D'ARTISANAT 
  01 B.P. 502 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL:(226) 31.12.66/67, FAX:(226) 30.61.16, TELEX:5268 BF 
 
  MR. ALI COULIBALY 
  DIRECTEUR GENERAL 
  OFFICE NATIONAL DU COMMERCE EXTERIEUR -ONAC- 
  01 B.P. 3225 OUAGADOUGOU 01 
  BURKINA FASO 
  TEL:(226) 31.13.00/01, FAX:(226) 31.14.69, TELEX:  5258 BF 
 
PROTECTING YOUR PRODUCT FROM IPR INFRINGEMENT 
 
BURKINA FASO BELONGS TO THE AFRICAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION 
(OAPI) AS WELL AS THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION WHICH 
OFFICIALLY PROTECT TRADEMARKS, PATENTS, AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS OF ITS 
MEMBERS.   
 
INVENTION PATENTS ARE VALID IN MEMBER COUNTRIES FOR TWENTY YEARS WITH 
LICENSING POSSIBLE THREE YEARS AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE PATENT. TRADEMARK 
RIGHTS ARE VALID FOR TWENTY YEARS AND ARE RENEWABLE. 
 
NEED FOR A LOCAL ATTORNEY/NOTARY PUBLIC 
 
A LOCAL ATTORNEY AND/OR NOTARY PUBLIC MAY BE REQUIRED WHEN SECURING OR 
CLOSING A CONTRACT.  THERE ARE ABOUT THIRTY PRACTICING LAW FIRMS AND 
EIGHT NOTARIES PUBLIC REGISTERED IN BURKINA FASO.  THE EMBASSY CONSULAR 
SECTION MAINTAINS A LIST OF REGISTERED LAWYERS WHO HAVE INDICATED THEIR 
AVAILABILITY TO WORK WITH AMERICAN CLIENTS. 
 
IN GENERAL, THE LAWYERS DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH BUT ADEQUATE TRANSLATION 
SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE.  UPON REQUEST, THE EMBASSY CAN PROVIDE THE NAMES 
AND ADDRESSES OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED BOOKKEEPERS, NOTARY PUBLICS, 
ENGINEERING CONSULTING OFFICES, AND TRANSLATION SERVICES.  SUCH 
INQUIRIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE COMMERCIAL ASSISTANT. 
 
CHAPTER V: LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
 
AS EVIDENCED BY A MODEST BUT INCREASING SHARE OF THE BURKINABE IMPORT 
MARKET CAPTURED BY U.S. FIRMS FROM YEAR TO YEAR, THE COUNTRY IS 
FAVORABLY DISPOSED TOWARDS U.S. PRODUCTS. 
 
THE 1994 DEVALUATION OF THE CFA FRANC OFFERS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. 
AND OTHER FOREIGN FIRMS INSOFAR AS SOME PRODUCT PRICES HAVE BECOME 
COMPETITIVE RELATIVE TO FRENCH PRODUCTS WHICH TRADITIONALLY DOMINATE THE 
BURKINABE MARKET.  THESE INCLUDE ESSENTIAL GENERIC PHARMACEUTICAL, HEAVY 
WORKS CONTRACTS, AND CONSULTANCY SERVICES.  THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS, 
USED-CLOTHING, AND COMPUTER MARKET HAVE OFFERED OPPORTUNITIES AND 
CONTINUE TO OFFER THESE TO U.S. VENDORS. 
 
IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT THE DEVALUATION HAS MADE MANY SOUTH AFRICAN 
PRODUCTS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE WITH ALREADY WELL-ESTABLISHED PRODUCTS FROM 
FRANCE.  WHETHER SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSMEN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MARKET 
EDGE REMAINS TO BE SEEN.  
 
RECENT TRADE DATA IS NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE BURKINA'S CUSTOMS OFFICES ARE 
PRESENTLY CONVERTING THEIR FILES INTO A COMPUTERIZED DATABASE. 
 
BEST PROSPECTS FOR NON-AGRICULTURAL GOODS AND SERVICES 
 
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT:  SINCE THE LATE 1980S, U.S. FIRMS HAVE 
SUPPLIED BURKINA FASO'S NATIONAL TELEPHONE COMPANY (ONATEL) WITH 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.  BURKINA'S NATIONAL OFFICE OF 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MANAGES PROJECTS AIMED AT INCREASING BURKINA'S 
TELEPHONE NETWORK.  AMONG THE PROJECTS SLATED IS STAGE ONE OF A CELLULAR 
TELEPHONE PROJECT VALUED AT USD 4 MILLION WHICH IS PLANNED TO COMMENCE 
AT THE BEGINNING OF 1996. 
 
HOWEVER, COMPARED TO 1990, WHEN U.S. FIRMS WERE THE LEADING EXPORTERS OF 
TELECOMMUNICATION PRODUCTS TO BURKINA FASO WITH 49 PERCENT OF THE 
MARKET, 1991 RESULTS WERE DISAPPOINTING.  U.S. FIRMS ACQUIRED ONLY 3.6 
PERCENT OF THE USD 9.7 MILLION MARKET (USD 354,484).  FRENCH FIRMS 
REPLACED THEIR U.S. COUNTERPARTS WITH A 59 PERCENT SHARE.  DURING THE 
SAME PERIOD, JAPAN CAPTURED THE THIRD LARGEST SHARE OF THE 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET WITH 6.5 PERCENT. 
 
THE REASON FOR FRANCE'S STRONG SHOWING WAS THE FLEXIBILITY OF ITS 
FINANCING SOURCES WHICH MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR FRENCH FIRMS TO LEND TO 
ONATEL AT CONCESSIONARY TERMS THROUGH THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT.  OTHER 
PRINCIPAL COMPETITORS INCLUDE CANADA, FINLAND, TAIWAN, AND GERMANY.  
   
DESPITE THE FLEXIBILITY OF FRENCH FIRMS' FINANCIAL RESOURCES, THERE IS A 
RENEWED AND DEMONSTRATED INTEREST BY THE BURKINABE FOR U.S. MANUFACTURED 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.  AN INDICATION OF THIS INTEREST IS THE 
RECENT AWARD BY ONATEL OF A SUBSTANTIAL CONTRACT FOR A MOBILE CELLULAR 
TELEPHONE NETWORK TO THE GTE CORPORATION.  THE TELECOMMUNICATION FIELD 
REMAINS PERHAPS THE BEST CURRENT TRADE PROSPECT FOR U.S. FIRMS.   
 
- GENERIC PHARMACEUTICAL: BRAND-NAME PHARMACEUTICAL HAVE TRADITIONALLY 
BEEN SUPPLIED BY FRANCE.  HOWEVER, AS A RESULT OF THE DEVALUATION, 
IMPORTED DRUGS HAVE BECOME PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE.  THIS HAS RESULTED 
IN A SHARP DROP IN CONSUMPTION OF IMPORTED DRUGS AND SUBSTITUTION WITH 
LOCAL TRADITIONAL MEDICINES.  BURKINA FASO HAS RECENTLY AUTHORIZED 
PHARMACIES TO SUBSTITUTE BRAND-NAME GOODS WITH GENERIC PRODUCTS PROVIDED 
THE PRODUCT IS CHEAPER AND OF COMPARABLE QUALITY.  THUS THERE IS A 
MARKET FOR COMPETITIVELY PRICED GENERIC PHARMACEUTICAL IN BURKINA FASO. 
 
BURKINA'S IMPORTS OF PHARMACEUTICALS AMOUNTED TO 10 BILLION CFA FRANCS 
IN 1993 (ABOUT USD 35.4 MILLION ) AND 12 MILLION CFA FRANCES IN 1994 
(USD 21.6 MILLION ).  THE SHARE OF GENERICS INCREASED BY 5 PERCENT FROM 
1990 TO 1993, 8 PERCENT IN 1994, AND IS EXPECTED TO RISE BY 12 PERCENT 
IN 1995. 
 
PRESENTLY, THE U.S. IS BURKINA'S FOURTH-RANKING SUPPLIER OF 
PHARMACEUTICAL, FOLLOWING FRANCE (98% OF THE MARKET IN 1994), BELGIUM, 
AND ITALY.  U.S. FIRMS WHO ENDEAVOR TO ENTER THIS MARKET SHOULD SATISFY 
THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: REGISTER THEIR PRODUCTS IN THE OFFICIAL 
NOMENCLATURE (THERE IS A PROCEDURE), ASSURE FRENCH-LABELS/PACKAGING, 
MAINTAIN OR DEVELOP SALES CHANNELS IN BURKINA FASO. 
 
- CONSULTANCY SERVICES: AS THE STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT OF BURKINA'S 
ECONOMY CONTINUES TO WELCOME FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND MULTILATERAL AID 
AGENCIES SUCH AS THE WORLD BANK BECOME MORE DISPOSED TO PROJECTS IN 
BURKINA, THE DEMAND FOR CONSULTANCY SERVICES CAN BE EXPECTED TO RISE. 
(SEE CHAPTER VII - TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING BELOW.) 
 
FRENCH, DUTCH, AND CANADIAN CONSULTING FIRMS ARE PRESENTLY OPERATING IN 
THIS MARKET BY WAY OF DIRECT LOCAL BRANCHES OR THROUGH LOCAL AFFILIATED 
CONSULTANCY FIRM/INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANTS.  CONSULTANCY PROJECTS RANGE 
FROM NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES 
AND MINING SECTOR STRATEGIES. 
 
- HEAVY WORKS CONTRACTS (ROADS, DAM CONSTRUCTION, ELECTRICITY PROJECTS):  
GENERALLY LOCAL COMPANIES CONTRACT ASSISTANCE FROM FOREIGN COMPANIES.  
CONTRACTS ARE MADE THROUGH GOVERNMENT TENDERS. 
THE VALUE OF THIS MARKET IS ESTIMATED AT 5 BILLION CFA FRANCS PER YEAR 
(ABOUT USD 10 MILLION). 
 
- USED CLOTHING, FABRIC MATERIAL, AND TEXTILE REMNANTS: 
IN 1991, THE U.S. BECAME THE LARGEST EXPORTERS TO BURKINA FASO GARNERING 
A 23.1 PERCENT SHARE WORTH APPROXIMATELY USD 2 MILLION.  OTHER PRINCIPAL 
COMPETITORS INCLUDE THE NETHERLANDS WITH 7.7 PERCENT OF THE MARKET AND 
BELGIUM/LUXEMBOURG WITH 6.9 PERCENT.  THE U.S. IS WELL PLACED TO 
MAINTAIN ITS COMPETITIVE EDGE IN THIS MARKET.  IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING 
THAT THE SALE OF USED SHOES IS BECOMING AN IMPORTANT SUB-SECTOR.   
 
- PERSONAL COMPUTERS, ACCESSORIES AND SUPPLIES:  DUE TO PRICE 
ADVANTAGES, GOOD OPPORTUNITIES EXIST FOR U.S. SUPPLIERS OF COMPUTER 
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AS WELL AS SUPPLIERS OF RELATED PRODUCTS AND 
ACCESSORIES.  WHILE THE MARKET REMAINS SMALL, IT IS BEGINNING TO SHOW 
SIGNS OF EXPANSION.  FOR SUPPLIERS WHO CAN SELL IN SMALL QUANTITIES, IT 
IS DEFINITELY A GOOD PROSPECT.   
 
IN 1991,  U.S. FIRMS CONTROLLED THE LARGEST PORTION OF THE COMPUTER 
MARKET WITH 32.2 PERCENT SHARE WORTH USD 1.04 MILLION.   FRANCE WAS THE 
SECOND LARGEST EXPORTER WITH 25 PERCENT OF THE MARKET.  HOWEVER, IT 
SHOULD BE NOTED THAT 50 PERCENT OF THAT AMOUNT CONSISTED OF RE-EXPORTED 
U.S.-MADE EQUIPMENT.  THUS, DIRECT SALES OF U.S. EQUIPMENT BY U.S. FIRMS 
TO BURKINA FASO ARE TO BE ENCOURAGED SINCE FRENCH FIRMS GENERALLY MARK 
UP THE PRICE OF RE-EXPORTED U.S. EQUIPMENT MAKING THE GOODS MORE 
EXPENSIVE FOR THE BURKINABE. 
 
BEST PROSPECTS FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS 
 
EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITIES EXIST FOR U.S. FIRMS TO EXPAND THEIR MARKET 
SHARE IN THE FOLLOWING COMMODITIES: WHEAT AND WHEAT FLOUR, YELLOW CORN 
SEMOLINA, AND RICE.   
 
- RICE: BEGINNING IN JANUARY 1996, THE STATE MONOPOLY ON RICE IMPORTS 
WILL BE PROGRESSIVELY LIBERALIZED.  BURKINA'S ANNUAL RICE CONSUMPTION 
AMOUNTS TO 120,000 TONS, OF WHICH 30,000 TONS ARE LOCALLY CULTIVATED AND 
90,000 TONS (VALUED AT ABOUT USD 24 MILLION) ARE IMPORTED, MOSTLY FROM 
THAILAND, PAKISTAN, AND TAIWAN. 
 
THOUGH LOCAL CULTIVATION OF RICE IS BEING ENCOURAGED BY THE BURKINABE 
AUTHORITIES, THE IMPORTATION OF 50 TO 70,000 TONS OF RICE PER YEAR 
REMAINS A NECESSITY.  U.S. FIRMS WHICH CAN SUPPLY RICE FOR POPULAR 
CONSUMPTION AT COMPETITIVE PRICES MAY SEEK TO TAP THIS MARKET. 
 
- WHEAT AND WHEAT FLOUR:  THOUGH THE IMPORTATION OF UNPROCESSED WHEAT 
HAS BEEN LIBERALIZED (RATE OF 11 PERCENT), A PROHIBITIVE 56 PERCENT 
TARIFF ON WHEAT FLOUR REMAINS INTACT.  THUS, BAKERS CONTINUE TO PURCHASE 
MUCH OF THEIR WHEAT FLOUR FROM THE NATIONAL MILLING COMPANY THE "GRANDS 
MOULINS DU BURKINA." THIS COMPANY IS THE LARGEST IMPORTER OF WHEAT IN 
BURKINA, IMPORTING 35,000 TONS PER YEAR, 6000 TONS ORIGINATING IN THE 
U.S., AND THE REMAINDER FROM EUROPE (FRANCE).   
 
THE GRANDS MOULINS DU BURKINA HAS STATES ITS WILLINGNESS TO IMPORT 
DIRECTLY FROM THE U.S., IF AVAILABLE AT COMPETITIVE PRICES AND FINANCE 
PLANS.  BURKINA FASO IMPORTS A LARGE QUANTITY OF U.S. WHEAT FLOUR FROM 
EUROPEAN WHOLESALERS, THUS DIRECT SALE BY U.S. SUPPLIERS REPRESENTS 
ANOTHER OPTION TO BE PURSUED.  
 
- OTHER CEREALS:  CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES CURRENTLY DISTRIBUTES U.S.-
DONATED (P.L. 480 TITLE II) YELLOW CORN SEMOLINA AS PART OF A NATIONWIDE 
SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM.  THIS PRODUCT IS POPULAR IN BURKINA FASO, 
SUGGESTING THE EXISTENCE OF A PRIVATE MARKET. 
 
- DAIRY PRODUCTS (MILK, BUTTER, AND CHEESE): CURRENTLY, THE NETHERLANDS 
AND FRANCE DOMINATE THE MARKET CONTROLLING 41.6 PERCENT AND 25 PERCENT 
RESPECTIVELY.  HOWEVER, RELATIVELY FEW BRANDS OF BUTTER OR MILK PRODUCTS 
ARE MARKETED.  U.S. BRANDS MAY BE ABLE TO GAIN MARKET SHARE BY 
INCREASING THE VARIETY OF PRODUCTS AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS.  MARKET 
PENETRATION BY U.S. FIRMS DEPENDS ON THEIR ABILITY TO CONFORM TO LOCAL 
CONSUMER PREFERENCES. 
 
CHAPTER VI: TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS    
 
TRADE BARRIERS/IMPORT AND EXPORT REGULATIONS  
 
IN AN EFFORT TO DEREGULATE ITS ECONOMY, BURKINA FASO HAS REMOVED MOST 
IMPORT/EXPORT RESTRICTIONS ON TRADE IN ADDITION TO STREAMLINING TAXATION 
AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES.  ALL QUANTITATIVE RESTRICTIONS 
EXCEPT A TEMPORARY, POST-DEVALUATION QUOTA FOR RICE, HAVE BEEN LIFTED, 
AND TARIFFS REDUCED.  THERE ARE NO EXPORT RESTRICTIONS.   
 
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT AN IMPORTER RETAIN AN AGENT/DISTRIBUTOR IN 
BURKINA FASO, ALTHOUGH SUCH A POLICY IS RECOMMENDED BY THE LOCAL 
GOVERNMENT. 
 
PRIOR TO 1991, FORTY PRODUCTS WERE SUBJECT TO IMPORT RESTRICTIONS.  
CURRENTLY, ONLY THREE PRODUCTS (PHARMACEUTICAL, 
ARMS/AMMUNITION/UNIFORMS, TOXIC PRODUCTS) REQUIRE SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION.  
THE PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION OF IMPORTS OVER CFA 1,500,000 BY THE SOCIETE 
GENERALE DE SURVEILLANCE (SGS), AN INTERNATIONAL VERIFICATION AND 
CONTROL SERVICE, IS STILL REQUIRED.  HOWEVER, THIS REQUIREMENT IS 
SCHEDULED TO BE LIFTED.  
 
IMPORT LICENSES/AUTHORIZATION 
   
SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION, ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, IS REQUIRED 
TO IMPORT TOBACCO, MINERAL FUELS, AND LIQUID AND GASEOUS HYDROCARBONS. 
THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AUTHORIZES THE IMPORTATION OF PHARMACEUTICAL 
PRODUCTS AND THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE APPROVES THE IMPORTATION OF 
WEAPONS, AMMUNITION, AND EXPLOSIVES. A TECHNICAL VISA, ISSUED BY THE 
NATIONAL OFFICE FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS, IS REQUIRED FOR THE IMPORTATION 
OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT. 
 
CUSTOMS VALUATION 
 
BURKINA FASO'S CUSTOMS FEES ARE BASED ON GOODS AD VALOREM (I.E., CIF 
PLUS FEES AND COMMISSIONS).  THESE DUTIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING 
COMPONENTS: A FIVE PERCENT CUSTOMS FEE, A VARIABLE IMPORT FISCAL DUTY 
(DFI) AND A VARIABLE VALUE-ADDED TAX BOTH BASED ON THE TYPE OF GOOD.  IN 
ADDITION, THE FOLLOWING MINOR LEVIES APPLY: A FOUR PERCENT STATISTICAL 
TAX, A ONE PERCENT COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY TAX (PCS), A ONE PERCENT TAX TO 
SUPPORT GOVERNMENT INTERVENING AGENCIES (TSI), AND THE "PEAGE" SET AT 
500 CFA (USD 0.83) PER TON.  IF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS WARRANT, THE 
GOVERNMENT MAY SUBSIDIZE THE IMPORTATION OF BASIC PRODUCTS (EG., RICE, 
SUGAR) BY DECREASING THE APPLICABLE CUSTOM DUTIES.  THESE EXTRAORDINARY 
MEASURES ARE IN ADDITION TO THE ALREADY SUBSTANTIAL SUBSIDY THE 
GOVERNMENT OF BURKINA FASO PROVIDES FOR THE IMPORTATION OF RICE AND 
OTHER FOOD STAPLES.   
 
CHAPTER VII: INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
 
ATTITUDE TOWARDS FOREIGN INVESTMENT 
 
GIVEN THE LIMITED CAPITAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN BURKINA FASO, THE 
GOVERNMENT IS ACTIVELY SEEKING DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT.  THE 
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS A KEY GOAL OF THE ECONOMIC REFORMS 
UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT.  THE GOVERNMENT WELCOMES INTEREST ON THE 
PART OF U.S. MINING FIRMS IN ORDER TO DEVELOP AND EXTRACT BURKINABE 
MINERAL RESOURCES.  A NEW INVESTMENT CODE WAS ADOPTED IN JUNE, 1992 WITH 
THE SPECIFIC GOAL OF "MOBILIZING NATIONAL SAVINGS AND EXTERNAL CAPITAL."  
WHILE THE NEW INVESTMENT CODE IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE A WELCOME MAT TO 
FOREIGN INVESTORS,  THE GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN ITSELF DISPOSED TO HEED 
POTENTIAL FOREIGN INVESTORS' CONCERNS/PRIORITIES.  IN THIS SENSE THE 
CODE IS STILL FLUID. 
 
THE INVESTMENT CODE GUARANTEES THE EQUAL TREATMENT OF BOTH FOREIGN AND 
DOMESTIC INVESTORS.  THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, AND MINES 
APPROVES ALL NEW INVESTMENTS, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, BASED ON THE 
RECOMMENDATION OF THE NATIONAL INVESTMENT COMMISSION.  THE COMMISSION'S 
PRINCIPAL CRITERION IS THE INVESTMENT'S DIRECT VALUE ADDED.  ITS MINIMUM 
ACCEPTABLE LEVEL IS SET AT 35 PERCENT.  OTHER CRITERIA INCLUDE THE 
INVESTMENT'S CONTRIBUTION TO BURKINA'S ECONOMY, THE INVESTMENT'S EFFECT 
ON BURKINA FASO'S COMMERCIAL BALANCE, AND ITS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.  
REVIEW MECHANISMS ARE DESIGNED TO BE ROUTING AND NON-DISCRIMINATORY, BUT 
ARE OF SUCH RECENT CREATION THAT THEY HAVE NOT YET ESTABLISHED A PROVEN 
TRACK RECORD. 
 
THE INVESTMENT CODE 
 
THE 1992 INVESTMENT CODE ESTABLISHED THREE INCENTIVE SCHEDULES.  
SCHEDULE "A" IS FOR INVESTMENTS OF LESS THAN 200 MILLION CFA (USD 
400,000) AND PROVIDES A COMPANY WITH AN EXEMPTION FROM MOST TAXES DURING 
ITS FIRST FIVE YEARS OF EXISTENCE.  A 50 PERCENT TAX CREDIT IS GRANTED 
FOR THE ENSUING FIVE YEAR PERIOD.  FURTHERMORE, COMPANIES IN SCHEDULE 
"A" ARE PERMITTED TO STAGGER PAYMENT OF BURKINA FASO'S REGISTRATION TAX 
OVER A FOUR YEAR PERIOD.  THE REGISTRATION TAX IS EQUAL TO 3 PERCENT OF 
THE TOTAL CAPITAL INVESTED.   
 
SCHEDULE "B" IS FOR LARGER INVESTMENTS (OVER CFA 200 MILLION) AND 
PROVIDES A COMPANY WITH AN 8 YEAR TAX EXEMPTION FROM MOST BURKINABE 
TAXES.  IT ALSO ENABLES A COMPANY TO SPREAD THE PAYMENT OF THE 
REGISTRATION TAX OVER A 5 YEAR PERIOD.  IN ADDITION, ALL SCHEDULE "A" 
AND "B" INVESTMENTS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY'S TWO MAJOR CITIES, 
OUAGADOUGOU AND BOBO-DIOULASSO, ARE ACCORDED THE BENEFITS ENUMERATED 
ABOVE FOR AN ADDITIONAL 5 YEARS.   
 
SCHEDULE "C" IS FOR EXPORT COMPANIES ONLY AND PROVIDES A PERMANENT 
EXEMPTION FROM ALL BURKINABE TAXES.   
   
THE MINING INVESTMENT CODE 
 
THE MINING INVESTMENT CODE, ORIGINALLY ADOPTED IN MAY, 1993, REGULATES 
FOREIGN MINING OPERATIONS IN BURKINA FASO.  THE CODE PROVIDES SPECIAL 
CUSTOMS AND FISCAL PRIVILEGES FOR MINING COMPANIES DURING BOTH THE 
EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION STAGES.  THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF 
LICENSES REQUIRED TO OPERATE IN THE MINING SECTOR: EXPLORATION LICENSE 
GRANTS, SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION LICENSES, AND LONG-TERM PRODUCTION 
CONCESSIONS. 
 
-- AN EXPLORATION LICENSE IS NEEDED FOR THE DEVELOPMENTAL PHASE.  IT 
GRANTS AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO EXPLORE FOR THE SPECIFIC MINERAL SUBSTANCES 
REQUESTED, COVERS A MAXIMUM AREA OF 2500 KM2, AND IS VALID FOR FOUR 
YEARS.  THE LICENSE MAY BE RENEWED TWICE, FOR PERIODS OF TWO YEARS, 
PROVIDED THAT THE LICENSE HOLDER CAN PROVE THAT AT LEAST 2/3 OF THE 
SCHEDULED WORK HAS BEEN COMPLETED.  THE LICENSE MAY BE TRANSFERRED WITH 
THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR MINES.   
 
AN EXPLORATION LICENSE GRANTS CERTAIN BENEFITS TO THE HOLDER:  
 
  - EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS FEES ON PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT IMPORTED TO 
AID IN THE EXPLORATION PROCESS, PETROLEUM PRODUCTS, SPARE PARTS, AND 
OTHER PRODUCTS IMPORTED DURING THIS STAGE.  
 
  - EXEMPTION FROM THE FORFEIT TAX (IMFPIC), THE PATENT TAX, AND THE 
APPRENTICESHIP TAX. 
 
IF THE EXISTENCE OF EXTRACTABLE MINERAL DEPOSITS IS PROVEN, THE HOLDER 
OF THE EXPLORATION LICENSE MAY THEN OBTAIN A MINING LICENSE OR A MINING 
CONCESSION. 
 
-- A MINING LICENSE IS NECESSARY FOR SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION.  IT GRANTS 
THE HOLDER THE RIGHT TO ESTABLISH AND OPERATE A MINE ACCORDING TO THE 
PRECEPTS OF THE MINING CODE.  AN INDUSTRIAL MINING LICENSE IS GRANTED 
WHEN MINING OPERATIONS ARE TO BE CARRIED OUT OVER A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME 
(4 YEARS, RENEWABLE).   
 
THE HOLDER OF A MINING LICENSE IS ACCORDED THE FOLLOWING CUSTOMS 
ABATEMENTS DURING THE INSTALLATION PERIOD: 
 
  - TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS FEES ON RAW MATERIALS, COMPONENTS, AND 
EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR PRODUCTION AS WELL AS THE FIRST SET OF SPARE 
PARTS FOR NECESSARY MACHINERY.  HOWEVER, THIS EXEMPTION DOES NOT INCLUDE 
PERSONAL VEHICLES OR OFFICE FURNITURE. 
 
  - TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOM FEES ON IMPORTED RAW MATERIALS FOR THE 
FIRST THREE YEARS FOLLOWING THE OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED DATE OF 
PRODUCTION. 
 
  - TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS FEES ON MOST PRODUCTS AND EQUIPMENT 
NECESSARY TO BUILD HOUSES.  NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT PAINT, HYDRAULIC MIXERS, 
AND AIR CONDITIONERS ARE NOT EXEMPT. 
 
  - TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS FEES ON PETROLEUM PRODUCTS AND 
LUBRICANTS NECESSARY TO OPERATE THE MINE. 
 
  -TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS FEES ON EQUIPMENT PURCHASED FOR 
EXPANSION PURPOSES OR REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT ORDERED DUE TO TECHNICAL 
MALFUNCTIONS/ACCIDENTS. 
 
THE HOLDER OF A MINING LICENSE IS GRANTED THE FOLLOWING TAX BENEFITS: 
 
  - SEVEN YEAR EXEMPTION FROM THE FORFEIT TAX (IMFPIC), THE PATENT TAX 
("PATENTE"), THE APPRENTICESHIP TAX (TPA), AND THE TRANSFER TAX (TBM).  
THE TBM IS APPLIED TO THE RENTAL VALUE OF THE BUILDINGS. 
 
  - FIVE YEAR TAX EXEMPTION ON COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROFITS (BIC), 
A FIVE YEAR, 50 PERCENT REDUCTION OF THE INVESTMENT INCOME TAX (IRVM), 
AND A 25 PERCENT PERMANENT REDUCTION OF THE SAME TAX FOR THE FOLLOWING 
YEARS. 
 
-- A MINING CONCESSION IS GRANTED FOR LONG TERM INVESTMENT PROJECTS.  IT 
IS GRANTED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND IS VALID FOR 25 YEARS AND RENEWABLE FOR 
10 YEAR PERIODS.  THE HOLDER OF A MINING CONCESSION IS GRANTED THE TAX 
BENEFITS AND CUSTOMS ABATEMENTS DURING THE INSTALLATION PERIOD IDENTICAL 
TO THOSE OF THE MINING LICENSE. IN ADDITION, THE MINING CONCESSION 
ISSUES THE FOLLOWING TAX BENEFITS:   
 
  - THIRTEEN YEAR EXEMPTION FROM THE FORFEIT TAX, THE PATENT TAX, THE 
APPRENTICESHIP TAX, AND THE TRANSFER TAX. 
 
  - TWELVE YEAR, 50 PERCENT EXEMPTION FROM THE INVESTMENT INCOME TAX. 
 
THE HOLDER OF A MINING CONCESSION IS ALSO PERMITTED TO STAGGER THE 
PAYMENT OF THE REGISTRATION TAX OF A NEWLY FORMED COMPANY AND IS EXEMPT 
FROM THIS TAX IN THE CASE OF FURTHER INVESTMENT (I.E., INCREASING THE 
CAPITAL STOCK).  THE HOLDER CAN ALSO BENEFIT FROM AN ACCELERATED 
INVESTMENT AMORTIZATION SCHEDULE AS IT IS DEFINED UNDER THE BURKINABE 
TAX CODE. 
 
CONVERSION AND TRANSFER POLICIES 
 
BURKINA FASO IS A MEMBER OF THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY AND ECONOMIC UNION 
(UEMOA), [FORMERLY THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY UNION].  THE 14-MEMBER WEST 
AFRICAN UNION USES A COMMON CURRENCY, THE CFA FRANC, AND INCLUDES THE 
COUNTRIES OF BENIN, COTE D'IVOIRE, MALI, NIGER, SENEGAL, AND TOGO.  
PRIOR TO JANUARY'S DEVALUATION, THE CFA FRANC WAS FREELY CONVERTIBLE 
INTO FRENCH FRANCS (FF) AT A RATE OF 50 CFA TO 1 FF.  AT THE JANUARY 
1994 MEETING IN DAKAR, SENEGAL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE FRANC ZONE AND 
FRANCE AGREED TO A CHANGE IN PARITY.  THE NEW RATE IS NOW 100 CFA TO 1 
FF.   
 
INVESTORS SHOULD CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OFFERED BY THE UEMOA.  THE CFA 
MAY BE FREELY USED IN A BETWEEN MEMBER COUNTRIES AND EXCHANGED INTO 
FRENCH FRANCS AT THE FIXED RATE.  WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE POST-
DEVALUATION PERIOD, MEMBERSHIP IN THE UEMOA HAS RESULTED IN HISTORICALLY 
LOW OR CONTROLLED INFLATION IN BURKINA FASO. 
 
BURKINA FASO'S INVESTMENT CODE GUARANTEES FOREIGN INVESTORS THE RIGHT TO 
TRANSFER ABROAD ANY FUNDS ASSOCIATED WITH AN INVESTMENT, INCLUDING 
DIVIDENDS, RECEIPTS FROM LIQUIDATION, ASSETS, AND SALARIES.  SUCH 
TRANSFERS ARE AUTHORIZED IN THE ORIGINAL CURRENCY OF THE INVESTMENT.  
TRANSFER IS MADE DIRECTLY BY BURKINABE BANKS ONCE THE INTERESTED PARTY 
PRESENTS ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS TO THE BANK.  TRANSFERS AND REPATRIATION 
OF FUNDS ARE NOT LIMITED AND THERE IS NO WAITING PERIOD.  WIRE TRANSFERS 
TO AN AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT BANK TAKE THREE DAYS (UP TO A WEEK TO A 
NON-CORRESPONDENT BANK). 
 
BURKINABE POLICIES FACILITATE THE FREE FLOW OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND 
SUPPORT THE FLOW OF RESOURCES IN THE PRODUCT AND FACTOR MARKETS.  
CREDIT, WHEN AVAILABLE, IS ALLOCATED ON MARKET TERMS.  LEGAL, REGULATORY 
AND ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS ARE CONSISTENT WITH INTERNATIONAL NORMS.  THE 
GOVERNMENT USES THE OCAM PLAN, AND HAS AT LEAST THREE COMMERCIAL 
ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS WHICH MATCH WORLD NORMS.  BURKINA FASO DOES NOT HAVE 
A STOCK EXCHANGE, BUT DOES HAVE REGULATIONS WHICH GUARANTEE AND 
FACILITATE PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT. 
 
EXPROPRIATION AND COMPENSATION 
 
THE BURKINABE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES BASIC PROPERTY RIGHTS.  SUCH 
RIGHTS CANNOT BE INFRINGED UPON EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, 
AS DEFINED BY THE GOVERNMENT.  JUST COMPENSATION MUST BE PAID IN CASES 
WHERE PROPERTY IS EXPROPRIATED.  SUCH COMPENSATION MUST BE PAID IN 
ADVANCE OF THE EXPROPRIATION, EXCEPT IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY.  SINCE 
1960, THREE INSTANCES OF EXPROPRIATION HAVE OCCURRED.  IN 1968, THE 
ELECTRIC COMPANY (THEN CALLED SAFELEC) WAS NATIONALIZED BY THE 
GOVERNMENT IN CONFORMITY WITH BURKINABE LAW.  IN 1970, COMACICO-BENIN 
AND SECM, FILM MAKING AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES, WERE NATIONALIZED.  IN 
1980, A MANUFACTURER OF AMMUNITION, CARVOLT, WAS NATIONALIZED FOR 
NATIONAL DEFENSE REASONS.  NO FURTHER CASES OF NATIONALIZATION HAVE 
OCCURRED. 
  
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT 
 
IF AN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT OF A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND AN 
INVESTOR PROVES IMPOSSIBLE, THE INVESTMENT CODE PROVIDES ARBITRATION 
PROCEDURES BE SUBMITTED TO INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION UNDER THE RULES 
OUTLINED BY THE MARCH 1965 CONVENTION OF THE IBRD.  IN CASES WHERE THE 
ENTERPRISE OF A NATIONAL DOES NOT MEET THE NATIONALITY CONDITIONS 
STIPULATED BY ARTICLE 25 OF THE CONVENTION, THE CODE SPECIFIES THAT THE 
DISPUTE BE RESOLVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DISPOSITIONS OF THE 
SUPPLEMENTARY MECHANISMS APPROVED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1978, BY THE 
INTERNATIONAL COURT FOR SETTLEMENT OF INVESTMENT DISPUTES. 
 
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS/INCENTIVES 
 
THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE INCENTIVES, OTHER THAN A GENERAL 
EXHORTATION THAT COMPANIES FOSTER THE RECRUITMENT OF NATIONAL EMPLOYEES.  
THERE ARE NO REQUIREMENTS THAT INVESTORS PURCHASE FROM LOCAL SOURCES.  
CERTAIN INCENTIVES ENCOURAGE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EXPORT INDUSTRIES 
(REGIME "C" DESCRIBED ABOVE) AND THE LOCATION OF PLANTS OUTSIDE OF 
OUAGADOUGOU AND BOBO-DIOULASSO.  GIVEN THE GOVERNMENT'S STATED DESIRE TO 
INCREASE FOREIGN INVESTMENT, AN INCREASE IN PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS IS 
NOT ANTICIPATED. 
 
RIGHT TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP AND ESTABLISHMENT 
 
THE RIGHTS OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC PRIVATE ENTITIES TO ESTABLISH AND OWN 
BUSINESS ENTERPRISES AND ENGAGE IN ALL FORMS OF RENUMERATIVE ACTIVITY IS 
GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND THE INVESTMENT CODE.  BUSINESSES CAN 
BE FREELY ESTABLISHED, SUBJECT TO THE SCREENING PROCESS DISCUSSED ABOVE, 
AND DISPOSED OF.  MOST PUBLIC ENTERPRISES HAVE ENJOYED A MONOPOLY 
POSITION IN THEIR MARKETS.  HOWEVER, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRUCTURAL 
ADJUSTMENT IS MOVING BURKINA FASO TOWARDS COMPETITIVE EQUALITY.  
FOREIGNERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ENGAGE IN THE PRIVATIZATION OF PARASTATAL 
ENTERPRISES. 
 
PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS  
 
BURKINA FASO HAS A LEGAL SYSTEM WHICH PROTECTS AND FACILITATES 
ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF ALL PROPERTY RIGHTS, INCLUDING 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.  BURKINA IS A MEMBER OF THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL 
PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO).  THE INVESTMENT 
CODE GUARANTEES FOREIGN INVESTORS THE SAME RIGHTS AND PROTECTION AS 
BURKINABE ENTERPRISES REGARDING TRADEMARKS, PATENT RIGHTS, LABELS, 
COPYRIGHTS, AND LICENSES.  DIVULGING COMMERCIAL SECRETS IS A CRIMINAL 
OFFENSE IN BURKINA FASO. 
 
FOR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT 
THEMINISTRY OF COMMERCE,  
  BUREAU DE LA PROPRIETE INTELLECTUELLE 
  MINISTERE DU COMMERCE 01 BP365  
  OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO 
 
 
PRIMARY BUSINESS REGULATIONS IN BURKINA FASO 
 
THE GOVERNMENT IS IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING A MORE REFINED AND 
TRANSPARENT POLICY OF EFFECTIVE LAWS TO FOSTER COMPETITION.  FOR 
EXAMPLE, PRICE CONTROLS HAVE BEEN LIFTED, AND THE LABOR CODE REVISED.  
BURKINA FASO'S REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES 
INCLUDE MOST FORMS OF COMPANIES ADMISSIBLE UNDER FRENCH BUSINESS LAW.  
THESE INCLUDE: PUBLIC CORPORATIONS, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES, LIMITED 
SHARE PARTNERSHIPS, SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES OF FOREIGN ENTERPRISES, 
AND SOLE PROPRIETORSHIPS. 
 
BURKINA'S RATHER COMPLEX TAX SCHEDULE IS PRESENTLY UNDER REVIEW. IN 
BURKINA FASO, INFORMAL SECTOR BUSINESSES AND OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES WITH 
AN ANNUAL TURNOVER OF CFA 15 MILLION OR LESS (ABOUT USD 25,000) PAY A 
UNIQUE TAX CALLED THE "CONTRIBUTION DU SECTEUR INFORMEL" OR CSI.  THE 
MAXIMUM CSI TAX IS CFA 100,000 OR ROUGHLY USD 166 PER YEAR.  BUSINESSES 
QUALIFYING FOR CSI TAX STATUS ARE PROHIBITED FROM BIDDING ON STATE AND 
PARASTATAL TENDERS.   
   
INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISES AND COMPANIES IN BURKINA FASO WITH AN ANNUAL 
TURNOVER EXCEEDING CFA 15 MILLION ARE SUBJECT TO A COMPLEX SET OF TAXES.  
THESE INCLUDE AN ANNUAL TAX ON INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL AND AGRICULTURAL 
PROFITS (IBICA), SET AT 45 PERCENT, AND A FORFEIT TAX (IMFPIC), PAID IN 
ADVANCE EACH YEAR.  THERE IS ALSO A 25 PERCENT TAX ON INTEREST INCOME 
(THE IRC) AND A 25 PERCENT TAX ON INVESTMENT INCOME (THE IRVM).  
BUSINESSES MUST ALSO PAY AN APPRENTICESHIP TAX (TPA) ON THE SALARIES OF 
ALL NATIONAL AND FOREIGN EMPLOYEES (FOUR AND SIX PERCENT RESPECTIVELY), 
AND A PATENT TAX WHICH HAS TWO COMPONENTS (A FIXED AMOUNT BASED ON GROSS 
REVENUES AND AN EIGHT PERCENT TAX BASED ON THE RENTAL VALUE OF COMPANY 
BUILDINGS AND THE VALUE OF THE PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT).  UPON 
INCORPORATING, COMPANIES MUST PAY A REGISTRATION TAX EQUAL TO THREE 
PERCENT OF THE COMPANY'S CAPITAL.  SINCE 1993, BUSINESSES ARE REQUIRED 
TO APPLY A 15 PERCENT VALUE-ADDED TAX ON THE VALUE OF THE PRODUCT. 
   
NON-IBICA PROFITS ARE TAXED FROM FIVE TO 35 PERCENT.  PRIVATE SECTOR 
EMPLOYEES AND CIVIL SERVANTS PAY A SINGLE TAX (IUTS) ON SALARIES AND 
TIPS, USUALLY BY PAYROLL DEDUCTION. 
 
BILATERAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS 
 
BURKINA SIGNED A COOPERATION TREATY WITH FRANCE ON APRIL 24, 1961, 
PROVIDING THAT FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED FREELY BETWEEN THE TWO 
COUNTRIES. 
 
A TRADE, INVESTMENT PROTECTION AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT WAS 
SIGNED BETWEEN BURKINA AND SWITZERLAND ON MAY 6, 1969.  THIS AGREEMENT 
PROVIDES FOR FREE TRANSFER OF CORPORATE EARNINGS, INTERESTS, DIVIDENDS, 
ETC., BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.  
 
VARIOUS MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY BURKINA 
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERNATIONAL OR REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING 
THE LOME CONVENTION, THE CEAO OR WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, AND 
THE COUNCIL OF THE ENTENTE (FEGECE CONVENTION).  THESE TREATIES 
GUARANTEE THE FREE MOVEMENT OF INVESTMENT CAPITAL AMONG MEMBER STATES. 
 
OPIC AND OTHER INVESTMENT INSURANCE PROGRAMS 
 
BURKINA IS ELIGIBLE FOR OPIC PROGRAMS BUT THERE HAS BEEN NO OPIC 
INVOLVEMENT IN AN INVESTMENT PROJECT IN BURKINA FASO TO DATE.  
CONSIDERABLE POTENTIAL EXISTS, HOWEVER, FOR DIRECT LOANS AND LOAN 
GUARANTEES FOR DEVELOPING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND SMALL INDUSTRY.  
BURKINA IS ALSO ELIGIBLE FOR FCIA THROUGH EXIMBANK PROGRAMS AND IS A 
MEMBER OF THE MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY (MIGA). 
 
LABOR 
 
BURKINA HAS RELATIVELY WELL DEVELOPED LABOR REGULATIONS.  A REVISED 
LABOR CODE GUARANTEES MANY RIGHTS TO WORKERS AND IS EFFECTIVELY ENFORCED 
BY A LABOR COURT.  UNIONS ARE WELL ORGANIZED AND DEFEND EMPLOYEE 
INTERESTS IN INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES.  WORKERS KNOW THEIR RIGHTS AND DO NOT 
HESITATE TO SEEK REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.   
 
THE MODERN SECTOR REPRESENTS APPROXIMATELY 10% OF THE WORKFORCE, WITH 
CIVIL SERVANTS NUMBERING NEARLY 40,000.  LABOR UNIONS CLAIM THE 
ALLEGIANCE OF 60 PERCENT OF GOVERNMENT WORKERS AND HALF THE PRIVATE 
SECTOR EMPLOYEES IN URBAN AREAS.  TRADE UNIONS ARE FREE TO OPERATE IN 
BURKINA FASO.   
 
THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT FOR THE COMMERCIAL SECTORS OF FEBRUARY 1, 1982 
DIVIDES EMPLOYEES (LABORERS, CRAFTSMEN, SENIOR STAFF) INTO EIGHT 
CATEGORIES WITH MINIMUM BASIC PAY RATES FROM 25,000 CFA PER MONTH.  
CONDITIONS FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF WORKERS BY ENTERPRISES ARE PROVIDED IN 
DECREE NO. 98 OF FEBRUARY 15, 1967.  PURSUANT TO THIS DECREE, THE 
CREATION OF NEW JOBS MUST BE IMMEDIATELY REPORTED TO THE OFFICE OF 
EMPLOYMENT AND MIGRATION BY THE EMPLOYER BEFORE HE HIRES ANY PERSONNEL.  
AN EMPLOYER SHOULD ASK ANY WORKER HE IS ABOUT TO HIRE FOR HIS JOB-
SEEKERS' REGISTRATION CARD ISSUED BY THIS OFFICE.   
 
IT IS BURKINABE POLICY TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR NATIONAL 
WORKERS.  THEREFORE, IN PROFESSIONS WHERE A GREAT NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED 
BURKINABE ARE REGISTERED, NO JOB-SEEKING CARD WILL BE ISSUED TO NON-
NATIONALS.  WHEN NON-NATIONALS ARE HIRED, THEIR EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT WILL 
BE AUTHORIZED BY THE DIRECTOR OF LABOR.  A STATEMENT MUST BE MADE TO THE 
REGIONAL INSPECTOR OF WORK AND SOCIAL RULES BEFORE START-UP OF ANY NEW 
ENTERPRISE ACCORDING TO A DECREE OF FEBRUARY 15, 1967. 
 
IN THE EVENT OF A REDUCTION IN PERSONNEL, THE LABOR CODE REQUIRES THE 
EMPLOYER FIRST TO DISMISS THOSE EMPLOYEES WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF 
TRAINING AND THE LOWEST SENIORITY.  THE EMPLOYER MUST ADVISE THE 
EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION AT LEAST 30 DAYS PRIOR TO TERMINATION.  WORKERS 
TERMINATED IN A GENERAL REDUCTION OF FORCE HAVE RE-EMPLOYMENT PRIORITY 
OVER OTHER APPLICANTS FOR A TWO-YEAR PERIOD.  EMPLOYEES TERMINATED FOR 
REASONS OTHER THAN THEFT OR FLAGRANT NEGLECT OF DUTY HAVE THE RIGHT TO 
TERMINATION BENEFITS.  
 
THOUGH THERE IS A SCARCITY OF SKILLED WORKERS, MAINLY IN MANAGEMENT, 
ENGINEERING AND THE ELECTRICAL TRADES, BURKINABE WORKERS HAVE A 
REPUTATION AS HARDWORKING AND DEDICATED EMPLOYEES.   
FOREIGN TRADE ZONES/FREE PORTS 
 
THERE ARE NO FOREIGN TRADE ZONES OR FREE PORTS IN BURKINA.  FOREIGN-
OWNED FIRMS ESTABLISHED IN BURKINA HAVE THE SAME INVESTMENT 
OPPORTUNITIES AS HOST COUNTRY ENTITIES, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF 
THE NEW INVESTMENT CODE THAT PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN FOREIGNERS 
AND NATIONALS.  AMERICAN FIRMS NOT REGISTERED IN BURKINA CAN COMPETE FOR 
CONTRACTS ON PROJECTS FINANCED BY INTERNATIONAL SOURCES SUCH AS THE 
WORLD BANK, U.N. ORGANIZATIONS, OR THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK. 
 
MAJOR FOREIGN INVESTORS 
 
FRENCH INVESTORS ARE BY FAR THE MAJOR CONVEYOR OF FOREIGN DIRECT 
INVESTMENT.  THE ONLY 100 PERCENT U.S. OWNED FORM IS MOBIL OIL, A 
GASOLINE DISTRIBUTION COMPANY WHICH RECENTLY LOCATED ITS REGIONAL 
HEADQUARTERS IN THE BURKINABE CAPITAL.  LEBANESE INVESTORS ALSO OCCUPY A 
PROMINENT ROLE IN THE BURKINABE SCENE. 
 
CHAPTER VIII: TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING  
 
FINANCIAL SECTOR 
 
A WELL-ESTABLISHED FINANCIAL SECTOR CONSISTING OF THREE LARGE COMMERCIAL 
BANKS [BANQUE INTERNATIONALE POUR LE COMMERCE, L'INDUSTRIE, ET 
L'AGRICULTURE DU BURKINA (BICIA-B), BANQUE INTERNATIONALE DU BURKINA 
(BIB), AND BANQUE POUR LE FINANCEMENT DU COMMERCE ET DE L'INDUSTRIE DU 
BURKINA (BFCI-B)] AND FOUR CREDIT INSTITUTIONS PROVIDE CREDIT FOR 
INVESTMENT AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS.  WHILE THE BANKING SECTOR HAD 
SUFFERED FROM POOR LOANS PORTFOLIOS, STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT MANDATED BANK 
RESTRUCTURING AND PRIVATIZATION AIMS TO ADDRESS THESE PROBLEMS. 
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ARE PRESENTLY CONFRONTED WITH OVER-LIQUIDITY DUE 
TO DEMANDING REQUIREMENTS REGARDING BANK LOANS. 
 
BURKINA'S THREE MAIN COMMERCIAL BANKS HAVE THE FOLLOWING CORRESPONDENT 
BANKS IN THE U.S.:   
 
  CITIBANK N.A. 
  111 WALL STREET, 28TH FLOOR, ZONE 4 
  NEW YORK, N.Y. 10043 
 
  F.A.B.C. 
  WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER TOWER "A" 
  200 LIBERTY STREET, 20TH FLOOR 
  NEW YORK, N.Y. 10281 
 
  SOCIETE GENERALE (NEW YORK BRANCH) 
  50 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA, 14TH FLOOR 
  NEW YORK, N.Y. 10020 
  TEL: (212) 830-6814 
 
MULTILATERAL FUNDING 
 
THE WORLD BANK (IBRD), THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU), THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT 
BANK (AFDB), AND OTHER DONORS ARE ALL ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN BURKINA FASO.  
TOTAL AID, INCLUDING CONCESSIONARY LOANS, AMOUNTS TO APPROXIMATELY USD 
200,000,000 PER ANNUM.  THE U.S. FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SERVICE MAINTAINS A 
REGIONAL OFFICE AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE, WHICH 
TRACKS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. BUSINESS INTERESTS.  U.S. FIRMS ARE 
ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT COMPETITIVE BIDS IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: 
 
-  BURKINA FASO'S TELECOMMUNICATION MARKET (SEE THE AFRICA 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETING GUIDE SOON TO BE PUBLISHED BY THE OFFICE OF 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, IN WASHINGTON). 
 
-  CONSULTING SERVICES AND SUPPLY OF NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND PRODUCTS 
FOR AN URBAN WATER DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. THE BUDGET FOR THE 
INTERNATIONALLY FUNDED PROJECT IS EXPECTED TO TOTAL CFA 100 BILLION 
(ABOUT USD 166.6 MILLION). 
 
-  A WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECT PLANNED FOR OUAGADOUGOU, AND SIMILAR URBAN 
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS YET TO BE DETERMINED. 
 
-  CONSULTING SERVICES FOR NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND 
ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS IN THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR. 
 
-  REGIONAL ELECTRICAL PROJECTS WITH GHANA AND COTE-D'IVOIRE WILL ALSO 
OFFER OPPORTUNITIES. 
 
U.S. FIRMS WILL FACE COMPETITION FROM BOTH LOCAL AND THIRD COUNTRY 
FIRMS.  SOME FOREIGN FIRMS, PRIMARILY CONSULTING AGENCIES AND BUILDING 
AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTORS FROM THE E.U., HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED 
LOCAL OFFICES IN BURKINA FASO.  SUCH A STEP IS NOT REQUIRED, HOWEVER, IN 
ORDER TO DO BUSINESS WITHIN THE COUNTRY.  
 
CHAPTER IX: APPENDICES 
 
APPENDIX A: COUNTRY DATA 
 
POPULATION: 9.5 MILLION 
POPULATION GROWTH RATE: 3.0 PERCENT 
RELIGIONS: INDIGENOUS BELIEFS (50 PERCENT), MUSLIM (30 PERCENT), 
CHRISTIAN (20 PERCENT) 
GOVERNMENT SYSTEM: PARLIAMENTARY 
LANGUAGES: FRENCH (OFFICIAL), TRIBAL LANGUAGES BELONGING TO THE SUDANIC 
FAMILY (MOREE, DIOULA) SPOKEN BY 90 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION 
WORK WEEK: 40 HOURS 
 
APPENDIX B: DOMESTIC ECONOMY 
 
GDP: USD 7 BILLION (1994) 
GDP GROWTH RATE: 1 PERCENT (1994), 3 PERCENT (1995), 5 PERCENT (1996) 
INFLATION: 27 PERCENT (1994) 
UNEMPLOYMENT: N/A 
FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES: USD 345 MILLION (1992) 
AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE FOR USD: CFAF 554.9 (1994), 281.5 (1993), 264.69 
(1992) 
DEBT SERVICE RATIO: 110.6 PERCENT (TOTAL EXTERIOR DEBT/EXPORTS) (1992, 
WORLD BANK) 
TOTAL EXTERNAL DEBT: 800 MILLION CFAF (1994,  
US ECONOMIC AID: USD 294 MILLION (FY 1970-89) 
 
APPENDIX C - TRADE 
 
TOTAL EXPORTS: USD 142 MILLION (1992), USD 182 MILLION (1993), USD 177 
MILLION (1994) 
 
TOTAL IMPORTS: USD 503 MILLION (1992), USD 421 MILLION (1993), USD 335 
MILLION (1994) 
 
US IMPORTS:  USD 21.8 MILLION (1993), USD 22.6 MILLION (1994) 
 
APPENDIX D - INVESTMENT STATISTICS 
 
DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT: FRENCH-SOURCED ACCOUNTS AMOUNT TO 10 TO 12 
BILLION CFA IN DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT. 
INVESTMENT GROWTH: 9.1 PERCENT (1980-92) 
GROSS DOMESTIC INVESTMENT: 24 PERCENT OF GDP (1992) 
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