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Long-term development assistance
Burkina Faso is one of the world's poorest countries. On the United Nations Development Programme's 2012 human development index, it ranks 183 out of 187 countries. In 2012 close to 45 percent of the population lived on less than US$1.25/day. About 7 million Burkinabe are under 14 years of age. The school dropout rate remains very high. In 2011, 52 percent of children completed primary school and 17 percent completed secondary school.
Economically, the Government of Burkina Faso has been working since 2008 to create a better business environment. According to the World Bank's 2012 Doing Business index, Burkina Faso has made progress in terms of ease of trading across borders. However, it has regressed in regard to the paying of taxes. GDP growth was significant in 2011 at 4.9 percent, although it was less significant than in 2010 at 7.9 percent (according to Statistiques mondiales, as of May 2012, in French). Since 2009, gold has supplanted cotton in export revenue. In 2011 gold production increased by 41 percent compared to 2010, while cotton production increased by 16 percent.
Politically, Burkina Faso has been stable since 1987. Presidential, legislative, and municipal elections have been held regularly since 1991, but the opposition remains weak and divided. On the other hand, civil society is very active, particularly labour unions.
Burkina Faso is making progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. This progress can be seen in three areas:
Canada's international development program in Burkina Faso supports the Government of Burkina Faso's Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development 2011-2015 (SCADD) (PDF, 1.68 MB, 99 pages), which identifies four major challenges:
The strategic direction of Canada's program in Burkina Faso is to help the country secure a future for children and youth and stimulate sustainable economic growth.
From 2001 to 2011, Canada supported the Burkinabe government's ten-year primary education development plan (in French). Since 2012, Canada has supported the Government of Burkina Faso's new initiative called the 10-year primary education development plan 2011-2020. This plan aims to improve educational services and make them more accessible and to develop a skills for employment training program for youth.
Canada also supports the implementation of Burkina Faso's national gender policy (PDF in French, 1 MB, 56 pages), which aims to make educational services more accessible to girls.
Canada continues to focus on improving microfinance and developing the agri-food sector. In cooperation with Denmark, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Capital Development Fund, Canada is supporting the implementation of Burkina Faso's national microfinance strategy (in French). This support was directed at projects that were operational in 2009.
Burkina Faso adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages).
The proportion of official development assistance allocated as budgetary support was 29 percent in 2007 and 38 percent in 2010. In addition, Burkina Faso is a model for best practices in public financial management in Africa, which is why 9 out of 10 of Burkina's main donors provide it with general budgetary support. Canada is a member of the donor coordination group, and plays a leadership role among donors in education and microfinance.
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