Historically one of Africa’s most stable nations, Burkina Faso is currently recovering from a turbulent political period, including its transition period following the resignation of long-term President Blaise Compaore in October 2014. Low levels of education, gender inequality, and the persistence of preventable diseases and malnutrition continue to compromise the country's ability to meet its basic needs.
Office Bamako, Mali
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in Western Africa, bordered to the north by Mali, to the east by Niger and Benin, to the south by Togo and Ghana, and to the west by Cote d' Ivoire.
About 80% of the working population relies on agriculture and livestock rearing as their means of living. Most farmers here operate at a subsistence level, so recurring prolonged droughts and severe floods often lead to widespread, chronic food shortages. The country's economy is highly susceptible to fluctuations in world commodity prices and natural disasters.
The country is one of Africa's largest cotton producer, and cotton is the country's main export product, after gold.
Burkina Faso’s population is approximately 17 million and is growing at an annual rate of 2.8%. Life expectancy is 55.5 years owing to the high incidence of HIV - AIDS. This also goes to explain the high infant mortality rate in the country, recorded at approximately 69 deaths per 1000 live births.
Burkina Faso ranks 181 out of a total 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index, indicating one of the world’s lowest levels of economic and social development.
In Burkina Faso, ICCO supports smallholder farmers in rural areas by linking them to markets and financial services. ICCO has a track record in the sesame and shea value chain and runs several programs funded by USAID and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FDOV programs).
In addition, ICCO, together with ICCO Terrrafina runs the Stars program, a 5-year program funded by the Mastercard Foundation and implemented in 4 countries: in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In Burkina Faso, ICCO supports poor farmers in developing the sesame and shea value chains and gaining access to financial and agricultural services. This will enable the farmers to achieve a higher income: their production will grow because the farmers will use advanced agricultural techniques and farmers can invest in their business in accessing loans.
As a result of amongst others the European Commission-funded Food Security program Prosanut, executed in Burkina Faso, and multiple SAN-coalitions in various countries, ICCO ROWA has built a substantial track record in Food Security and Sustainable Consumption in Burkina Faso.
Public Private Partnership: the model ICCO uses to work with the private sector consists of organizing farmers into cooperatives, providing them with entrepreneurial skills and agronomic skills training; linking farmers to the markets and facilitate access to financial products.
Other expertise areas include: Lobby and Advocacy for Food Security, Value Chain Development, Linking Farmers to Financial Products, Connect4Change.