Burkina Faso is in Western Africa, north of Ghana. The climate is tropical with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers. The official language is French. Many business people will also know some English. Although most of the population also speak local languages such as Mossi and Mandinka. The main religions are Indigenous beliefs, Islam and Christianity. The economy of Burkina Faso is one of the poorest in the world. More than 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, with only a small fraction directly involved in industry and services. Burkina Faso is influenced by French customs. Expatriates must be aware of and respect local customs, especially outside major cities. Age is important and more senior personnel should be addressed with respect. Expatriate business dress comprises suits for official meetings, otherwise a shirt and tie is appropriate for men. For women modest dress to avoid offending the significant Muslim population is advisable. Government officials wear national dress. Most business is conducted in French. Women can be find at the highest levels of public and business organisations. The working week is Sunday to Thursday. Businesses are closed on Fridays. The security risk for expatriates in Burkina Faso is medium, but high in the Oudalan, Soum and Loroum provinces where there is risk of kidnapping and attacks by Mali-based Islamist militants. Risks include opportunistic street crime and armed robbery with expatriates often the target. Other risks include corruption amongst the police and government officials. The currency of Burkina Faso is the CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF). Burkina Faso is largely a cash based economy. Cards are accepted at a few of the larger hotels and restaurants in Ouagadougou. ATMs are very limited. Medical facilities in Burkina Faso are extremely limited. In cases requiring urgent serious medical treatment, medical evacuation is usually required. Malaria and other tropical and water-borne diseases are common. The population of Burkina Faso is 17.3 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.8% (Oct 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Burkina Faso, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Burkina Faso as at 1 January 2018 is average in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Very Low 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Very Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Average 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: High Burkina Faso is for example 28.2% more expensive than USA for groceries, -47.7% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 111.3% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Burkina Faso for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Burkina Faso) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Burkina Faso is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Burkina Faso? Register subscribe to your home location and Burkina Faso and run your personalised reports.