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Burkinabe farmer wins 'alternative Nobel' for drought-fighting technique
24 September 2018 - A farmer from Burkina Faso who popularized an ancient farming technique to reverse desertification is among the winners of Sweden's 'alternative Nobel prize', announced on Monday (24 September). Yacouba Sawadogo is known for turning barren land into forest using 'zai' -- pits dug in hardened soil that concentrate water and nutrients, allowing crops to withstand drought. The technique has restored thousands of hectacres of dry land, helping to reduce hunger in Burkina Faso and Niger. (more)

French President Macron makes renewable energy push in power-starved Africa
29 November 2017 - French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday inaugurated West Africa's largest solar energy plant in Burkina Faso and pushed for French companies to be the preferred partners to develop future renewable power projects on the continent. Across sub-Saharan Africa, more than 600 million people live without electricity. (more)

Burkina Faso: Monsanto GM cotton banned by top African producer of crop
14 April 2016 - Burkina Faso is phasing out the production of genetically modified cotton introduced by Monsanto Company, the world's largest seed company, because growers are unhappy with the short length of its fiber. Africa's biggest cotton grower is reducing the acreage for genetically modified cotton this season until it's completely phased out in 2018 and replaced by conventional cotton, the West African nation's cabinet said in a statement published late on Wednesday. (more)

Burkina Faso planting less GMO cotton
13 June 2015 - Burkina Faso's target of a record 800,000-tonne cotton crop for the 2015-16 season is attainable despite low world prices and the threat of an El Nino weather phenomenon, Ecobank said on Friday. Sub-Saharan Africa's largest producer will reduce the amount of farmland planted with Bt cotton, a genetically modified strain that is meant to be more resistant to pests but has led to a drop in quality. (more)

Burkina Faso plans social fund from gold revenue
8 February 2012 - Burkina Faso plans to create a social development fund from the government's tax and royalty revenue from gold mining, the country's mines minister said on Wednesday. Salif Kabore said that the fund would go toward 'communities and the environment'. Asked if it meant any changes in taxes and royalties, he said: 'No, not more taxes.' (more)

Burkina Faso: Reforestation takes root
27 September 2011 - This year Fatimata Koama and her associates received more than half a million CFA francs as a reward for planting -- and looking after -- 1,200 trees in their small corner of Burkina Faso. Koama, who lives in the Nayala province of this semi-arid West African country, is the leader of a collective which calls itself 'Magoule', meaning 'I believe' in the local San language. The programme of incentives is designed to help slow deforestation. (more)

Burkina Faso: Education, not handouts
13 May 2010 - Months ago children who are now in school spent most of their time begging in the streets of the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou. With help from university student volunteers and support from the NGO Terre des hommes (Tdh), the children - - part of Burkina's Malian Tuareg community -- now spend their days in the classroom. (more)

Burkina Faso: Government to distribute free books for children's education
29 August 2007 - The Burkina Faso government will distribute millions of free books to primary school students and launch a pilot project to give no-fee schooling in a push to curb the number of people in the country growing up without even basic education. (more)

Revival of commercial gold sector seen in Burkina Faso
19 July 2007 - High River Gold Mines Ltd. has poured its first gold in Burkina Faso, reviving commercial gold mining in the West African country after an eight-year halt, the Canadian-list company said on Wednesday. Several other companies are also prospecting or developing mines in Burkina Faso. (more)

Community programme fights malaria in West Africa
3 December 2006 - In one of the poorest countries of the world, Burkina Farso, a new health programme is providing an inexpensive method to treat malaria using a non-toxic therapy that includes a derivative of the sweet wormwood plant, which has been used for centuries in China to treat fever. (more)

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Burkina Faso's long night of horror in killing spree by militants
18 January 2016 - When Burkina Faso anti-terrorism Commander Evrard Somda arrived with 20 men to start a fight-back against Islamist militants holed up in a smart hotel, his first decision was to seal off the area and throw away the rule book. His training in France, Kenya, Senegal, and elsewhere taught him he should be trying to make contact with the hostage takers. A quick glance at the horror before him was enough to know this would not work. Officials have not yet been able to determine whether al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al Mourabitoun, groups that claimed responsibility for both attacks, used a local jihadist cell or sent fighters from northern Mali. (more)

Burkina Faso -- heading for a showdown?
11 August 2014 - Burkina Faso's next elections are not due until November 2015, but political tensions have risen in the past year owing to suspicions that President Blaise Compaore is looking to prolong his 27-year rule by contesting the polls. An expanding coalition of opposition groups and civil society organizations has staged rallies calling for Compaore's departure and promising to build momentum and force a change. Compaore has not explicitly said he will seek re-election, but plans for a constitutional referendum to scrap the two-term limit for the presidency are seen as a sign of his intention to run. Compaores critics say he has monopolized power for far too long. They contrast Burkina Faso's experience with that of neighbouring countries like Benin and Ghana -- all far from perfect, but at least now used to leaders being peacefully voted out. There is also concern that Compaore will try to install his brother, Fran├žois, a highly influential adviser with extensive and controversial business interests, as successor. 'Blaise Compaore wants to be king of the country and it is just not possible,' said Smockey, a rapper-turned-political-campaigner. 'We will use all the legal means we have to stop him.' Smockey, real name Serge Bambara, is now a leading figure in the Balai Citoyen (Citizens' Broom movement) formed in July 2013 to highlight the grievances of ordinary citizens and turn up the pressure on the president. (more)

Soldiers loot Burkina Faso capital for second night
17 April 2011 - Police in Burkina Faso's capital fired tear gas Saturday on thousands of angry merchants protesting a second night of looting by soldiers, the latest of several recent episodes of unrest in the small West African nation. On Saturday, the minister of security announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew for Ouagadougou on national radio and television after angry merchants marched through the capital to protest the looting sparked by soldiers protesting their unpaid housing allowances. Witnesses said the soldiers looted shops, stole cars and robbed hotels late Friday and into the early hours of Saturday. On Saturday, the merchants also looted and torched shops near the city's main market. (more)

Monsanto says GMO cotton seed out in Burkina Faso
9 January 2009 - Life sciences firm Monsanto said Thursday it released for commercial cultivation its Bollgard II cotton seed in the West African nation of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. The former French colony of 15 million people relies heavily on subsistence agriculture. The main agricultural activity is cotton farming, which is sown on 600,000 hectares. Cotton cultivation is dominated by three coops in the country. The runaway leader is Sofitex, which accounts for 87 per cent of the acreage. (more)


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