The Federal Republic of Germany and Burkina Faso have maintained diplomatic relations since 1960. The frequency of bilateral visits between Germany and Burkina Faso has increased dramatically in recent years. The President of Burkina Faso travelled to Germany twice in 2019, while Federal Chancellor Merkel visited Burkina Faso in May 2019.
Given the deteriorating security situation, Burkina Faso has been a partner country of the Federal Government’s Enable and Enhance Initiative since 2019. It provides the security forces in Burkina Faso with support in the fields of training, equipment and security sector reform.
Development cooperation remains the most important pillar of bilateral relations for Germany. German development cooperation focuses on agriculture and food security, water and sanitation, as well as decentralisation. They are also working to improve the protection of children’s rights. In political terms, too, Germany is assuming responsibility for the international political and financial commitment on the ground as the donor spokesperson for the decentralisation and municipal development sector. In addition, Germany plays a key role in the sphere of humanitarian assistance with a view to supporting the country.
Cultural relations focus on promoting the German language. The people of Burkina Faso have a keen interest in learning German as a foreign language with more than 140,000 school pupils and more than 1000 teachers of German. A German department was opened at Ouagadougou University in 1982 and there are currently some 3.300 studying German in the country. There is also considerable cooperation in scientific and academic fields. The Abidjan branch of the Goethe-Institut has run a liaison office in Ouagadougou since September 2008. This liaison office is currently being upgraded to a fully-fledged branch including language courses and larger premises.