Germany and Burkina Faso: Bilateral relations

12.03.2024 - Article

The Federal Republic of Germany and Burkina Faso have maintained diplomatic relations since the latter gained independence in 1960. In 2019, the then President, Roch Marc Kaboré, travelled to Germany on two occasions, while Federal Chancellor Merkel visited Burkina Faso in May 2019.

Development cooperation remains the most important pillar of bilateral relations. It is mainly centred on programmes and projects which directly benefit the population. Priorities are the promotion of agriculture and food security, water supply and sanitation, as well as decentralisation. What is more, Germany is actively engaged in helping to provide humanitarian assistance for those in need. The focus here is on food security, humanitarian protective measures (especially for women and girls), as well as the provision of water and healthcare. Within the context of its efforts to foster stabilisation, Germany supports, wherever possible and appropriate, the development of a positive state presence with basic services for the population, as well as civilian stabilisation measures in conflict zones.

Cultural relations focus on promoting the German language. There is considerable interest in learning German as a foreign language in Burkina Faso. The German language is firmly established in secondary education, with more than 88,600 students being taught by over 920 German teachers. Three grammar schools in Burkina Faso are part of the Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) initiative. Promotion of the German language is complemented by the language courses organised by the deutsch-burkinische Kulturverein (German-Burkina Faso cultural association) and, since 2022, also by the Goethe-Institut in Ougadougou. The latter has been in existence since September 2008, initially as a liaison office of the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan. As the only German cultural institute in the Sahel region, it plays a key role in cultural relations.

In the scientific sphere, the German Government is making an important contribution towards basic research on the impact of the climate crisis on the Sahel region through the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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