Last updated in October 2011
Germany and Burkina Faso have maintained diplomatic relations since 1960. Numerous town twinning arrangements and association partnerships as well as the activities of non-governmental organizations have helped to consolidate these relations, resulting in a tight-knit web of personal and institutional contacts. In March 2004, the Burkinese President Blaise Compaoré was in Germany on an official visit, which took him to Berlin, Potsdam and Bremen. On 12 February 2008, Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier paid a working visit to Ouagadougou.
Development cooperation and economic relations
Bilateral relations focus on development cooperation in the following areas: agriculture, water and decentralization. Other areas of cooperation are reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, human rights, in particular for women and children, as well as support for public-finance reform and macroeconomic advice. Up to the end of 2010, German development cooperation commitments amounted to EUR 919 million. For the period 2008 to 2010, EUR 95 million in government development cooperation was made available.
There are currently 25 development workers and 12 experts seconded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) working in Burkina Faso. The GIZ was created on 1 January 2011 by merging Germany’s three implementing organizations: the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the German Development Service (DED) and InWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany.
In addition, the KfW Development Bank has an office in Ouagadougou. Various non-governmental organizations are also active there.
Bilateral trade is very modest, Germany recording large surpluses in both directions. A bilateral investment protection agreement has been in place since October 2009. Burkina Faso benefits from preferential imports under the EU’s Cotonou Agreement.
Bilateral cultural relations focus on promoting the German language. There are more than 36,300 pupils learning German at secondary schools who are taught by 235 local teachers. In 1982, a German department was opened at the Ougadougou University, which has been awarding master’s degrees since 1997. More than 400 students are enrolled there. Since September 2008, the Goethe Institute in Abidjan has run a liaison office in Ouagadougou. Two of the country’s grammar schools are participants in the “Schools: Partners for the Future” initiative run by the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe Institute. In 2011, Burkinese pupils took part in the Educational Exchange Service’s International Award Winners Programme for the first time.
There are numerous cooperation projects in higher-education sector.
The academic teaching post funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at Ougadougou University has been filled again since 2007.
As part of sports promotion, the German Embassy is supporting a football project for street children that was launched in 2006. In addition, Burkinese coaches regularly participate in further-training measures conducted by the University of Leipzig. In 2011, a German cycling team took part in the Tour du Faso again for the first time in 15 years.
In early 2010, the German artist and director Christoph Schlingensief launched an African Opera Village project near Ouagadougou. The school – one of the project’s basic elements – was officially opened in October 2011.
Burkina Faso is a partner country of German development cooperation. For more information please visit the website of the external link, opens in new windowFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development .