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Burkina Faso is a landlocked state in Western Africa. The country is bound to the north and west by Mali, to the south by Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo and to the east by Benin and Niger. The capital is Ouagadougou.
Gaining independance from France in 1960, French is still the official language among Burkina Faso's 16.5 million people. Following a series of coups, President Blaise Compaore came to power in 1987 and strong public protest have seen him evicted from his position in October 2014 to ensure he would not change the constitution and run for another term. Michel Kafando is presently the lead of state to conduct the transition to the elections which will be held in 2015.
Burkina Faso's mining sector is growing, with exports from Burkina Faso's large deposits accounting for nearly three quarters of export revenue in 2013. Cotton, whilst only 32% of export revenue provides 80% of household incomes. Burkina Faso has one of the lowest GDP per capita rates in the world.
Burkina Faso is a member of the Cotton 4 - a group of four African nations (including Mali, Benin and Chad) working through the World Trade Organisation to reduce trade distorting subsidies the US and EU pay to their cotton farmers, that then puts African farmers at a trade disadvantage.