What is the Capital City of Burkina Faso?

By | May 19, 2024

Ouagadougou, often simply called Ouaga, is the capital and largest city of Burkina Faso. Located in the center of the country, Ouagadougou is not only the political and administrative hub of Burkina Faso but also the cultural and economic heart. This comprehensive overview will provide detailed insights into various aspects of Ouagadougou, including city facts, major landmarks, climate overview, and historical capitals of Burkina Faso, culminating in a broad understanding of the country itself.

City Facts

  • Area: 219.3 km²
  • Population: Approximately 2.8 million (2023)
  • Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  • Highest Mountain: Although not known for high mountains, the highest point near Ouagadougou is the Nabéré Peak, part of the low-lying terrain around the city.
  • Longest River: Nakambe River (also known as the White Volta)

Major Landmarks

Laongo Sculpture Symposium

Laongo Sculpture Symposium is an open-air museum located about 30 kilometers from Ouagadougou. It features impressive granite sculptures created by artists from around the world. This cultural landmark showcases Burkina Faso’s commitment to arts and offers a unique experience for visitors.

Place des Cinéastes

This square is dedicated to filmmakers and celebrates the strong cinematic tradition of Burkina Faso. The square is adorned with statues and plaques honoring notable African filmmakers. It is also a key venue during the bi-annual FESPACO (Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou).

National Museum of Burkina Faso

The National Museum of Burkina Faso, located in Ouagadougou, houses a vast collection of artifacts that represent the country’s rich cultural heritage. Exhibits include traditional masks, musical instruments, and pottery. The museum is a vital institution for preserving and promoting Burkinabé culture.

Ouagadougou Cathedral

Also known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, this Catholic cathedral is one of the largest in West Africa. Built between 1934 and 1936, its architecture reflects Sudanese Sahelian style with a blend of Romanesque elements. It stands as a significant religious site and a testament to the colonial history of the region.

Bangr Weogo Park

Bangr Weogo Park is a large urban park located in the heart of Ouagadougou. It serves as a green oasis, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. The park is home to various plant species, wildlife, and a small zoo. It is a popular spot for jogging, picnicking, and nature walks.

Moro-Naba Palace

The Moro-Naba Palace is the traditional seat of the Moro-Naba, the king of the Mossi people. Although the political power of the Moro-Naba has diminished, the palace remains a significant cultural and historical site. The Moro-Naba Ceremony, held every Friday, is a traditional ritual reenacting a historical event and is a must-see for visitors.

Climate Overview

Ouagadougou experiences a hot semi-arid climate with a distinct wet and dry season. The dry season runs from November to April, characterized by high temperatures and low humidity. The wet season, from May to October, brings most of the city’s annual rainfall.

Average Monthly Climate Data

Month Average Temperature (°C) Average Precipitation (mm) Average Sunny Days
January 24.6 0 30
February 27.2 0 28
March 30.5 1 31
April 32.9 10 28
May 32.3 45 26
June 30.0 80 25
July 28.2 160 20
August 27.6 210 18
September 28.1 130 23
October 29.4 40 27
November 27.8 5 30
December 25.0 0 31

Historical Capitals of Burkina Faso


Koudougou is the third-largest city in Burkina Faso, located approximately 100 kilometers west of Ouagadougou. It has never served as the official capital of the country but is an important regional center. Koudougou is known for its vibrant market, educational institutions, and the annual Nuits Atypiques festival, which celebrates music and culture from the region.


Bobo-Dioulasso has been the economic capital of Burkina Faso and a significant cultural center. Located in the southwestern part of the country, Bobo-Dioulasso is the second-largest city. It boasts rich traditions, vibrant markets, and historical sites like the Grand Mosque, built in the Sudanese style, and the Konsa house, showcasing traditional Bobo architecture.

Historical Significance of Each City

  • Koudougou: While not a historical capital, Koudougou is a key city in Burkina Faso’s political and economic landscape. Its markets and educational institutions make it a vital urban center.
  • Bobo-Dioulasso: Often regarded as the cultural capital, Bobo-Dioulasso’s influence in trade, culture, and education has been significant. Its historical sites and traditional music make it a crucial part of Burkina Faso’s heritage.

Country Facts

  • Population: Approximately 21 million (2023)
  • Area: 274,200 km²
  • Largest City: Ouagadougou
  • Currency: West African CFA Franc (XOF)
  • Official Language: French
  • ISO Country Codes: BF, BFA

Reference: www.all-countries-of-the-world.com

Political Structure

Burkina Faso is a semi-presidential republic. The President is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government. The country has a multi-party political system, and its legislative body is the National Assembly.


Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa, bordered by Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Ivory Coast to the southwest. The terrain is primarily flat, with sporadic hills and a few notable peaks, such as the Nabéré Peak.


The economy of Burkina Faso is largely based on agriculture, with cotton being the primary export crop. Other significant sectors include mining (especially gold), livestock, and services. Despite economic growth in recent years, the country faces challenges such as poverty, infrastructure development, and political instability.

Culture and Heritage

Burkina Faso is known for its rich cultural heritage, including traditional music, dance, and crafts. The country hosts several prominent cultural events, such as the FESPACO film festival and the SIAO (International Art and Craft Fair of Ouagadougou). Traditional festivals, like the Moro-Naba ceremony, reflect the deep-rooted customs and social structures of the various ethnic groups in Burkina Faso.

Education and Science

Education in Burkina Faso has made significant strides, but challenges remain in terms of access and quality. The country has several universities and research institutions, with the University of Ouagadougou being a notable example. Efforts are ongoing to improve educational infrastructure and literacy rates.


Burkina Faso offers a variety of tourist attractions, including historical sites, natural parks, and cultural festivals. Popular destinations include the Sindou Peaks, Karfiguéla Waterfalls, and the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. Ecotourism and cultural tourism are growing sectors, attracting visitors interested in experiencing the country’s unique heritage and landscapes.

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