France and Burkina Faso have a history of strong relations. Their bilateral relations are currently governed by the partnership framework document signed in November 2013 for the period 2013-2015, which establishes sustainable development, human development, agriculture and food security as priority issues. This is coupled with extensive security and defence cooperation.
All of this cooperation was briefly suspended during the attempted coup in September 2015.
Latest bilateral meetings
Bernard Kouchner, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, visited Burkina Faso in January 2010.
The Burkinabe President, Blaise Compaoré, attended the Africa-France Summit in Nice in May 2010, as well as the Bastille Day ceremonies on 14 July 2010.
Henri de Raincourt, French Minister for Cooperation, attended the ceremonies for Burkina Faso’s fiftieth year of independence in December 2010. He returned to Burkina Faso in February 2011.
The Burkinabe Prime Minister, Luc Adolphe Tiao, visited France in July 2011 and January 2012.
Alain Juppé and Laurent Fabius, both French Ministers of Foreign Affairs, visited Burkina Faso in February and July 2012 respectively.
The Burkinabe President, Blaise Compaoré, visited France in September 2012.
Pascal Canfin, French Minister Delegate for Development, visited Burkina Faso in January and November 2013.
Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, visited Burkina Faso in April 2015.
The Burkinabe President, Michel Kafando, visited France in June 2015. He attended the COP21 opening ceremony in November and the summit on African responses to the climate challenge in December 2015.
With exports totalling €269 million in 2014, France is one of Burkina Faso’s main suppliers. In particular, it provides pharmaceutical products, machines and engines, and grains.
French imports, meanwhile, totalled €43 million in 2014. Burkina Faso’s leading customer is, by far, Switzerland, which buys gold.
Around one hundred French businesses are present in Burkina Faso. French foreign direct investment in Burkina Faso totalled €97 million in 2012. It was mainly focused on industry, banking and insurance, and construction.
France is the second-largest bilateral donor of development assistance to Burkina Faso (€44 million in 2014). The latter is a priority country for French development assistance.
The partnership framework document signed in November 2013 for 2013-2015 identifies priority areas relating to sustainable development (energy, drinking water, sanitation), human development (education, healthcare, family planning), agriculture and food security (land tenure, food security, combating malnutrition), governance (decentralization, mobilizing resources) and cultural cooperation (promoting cultural exchanges). France has committed to providing between €260 million and €305 million over that period.
There are two Instituts Français in Burkina Faso: in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.
In view of the security challenges in the Sahel-Sahara region and Burkinabe involvement in peacekeeping operations, there is extensive security and defence cooperation between France and Burkina Faso.
The latter hosts two regionally-oriented national schools financed by French cooperation, which take in trainees from third countries: ISEPC, the higher education institute for civil protection, and EMTO, the technical military academy.
In addition, in the framework of Operation Barkhane, which was launched in August 2014, France has a base of operations in Ouagadougou.