Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, Switzerland is engaged in three domains to help combat poverty: governance and democracy, basic education and vocational training, and local economic development, mainly in the eastern, central-western and northern regions.

Map of Burkina Faso
© FDFA

Following the popular uprising in October 2014, the government in place since December 2015 faces high expectations from the population amid a worsening security situation, evidenced by the terrorist attack in Ouagadougou in January 2016 and the onslaughts in the border regions of the north. Despite an economy growing at about 4% a year, largely thanks to the exploitation of natural resources (gold, cotton, shea), Burkina Faso remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Some 80% of the population grow subsistence crops in family smallholdings

Governance and democracy

Switzerland works to build the capacities of local actors, with an emphasis on the democratization process and citizenship. It helps them to develop and manage commercial, water and road infrastructures and fosters the emergence of high quality public services. Since 2002, over 300 km of rural roads have been built in the east of the country, opening up access for more than 500,000 people and creating in excess of 900 jobs during construction.

State and Economic Reforms

Basic education and vocational training

Switzerland supports various educational initiatives designed to improve the quality of education through: 

  • teachers training

  • the production of teaching material

  • creating alternatives to the school system for children and adults who have not had access to an education.

  • vocational education and training 

It supports the improvement of vocational education and training by working with professional associations, the private sector and regional public services. Since late 2012, a joint fund financed by the government and international donors has paid for literacy classes for over 250,000 people, 60% of them women, and the dissemination of more than a million educational resource documents.

Basic education and vocational training

Local economic development

In order to create jobs and boost farmers’ income, Switzerland supports the modernization of smallholder farms in the areas of: 

  • market gardening

  • rice cultivation

  • non-wood forest products like fruits, seeds, leaves 

Better production, processing and marketing of agricultural produce enhances food security. Switzerland’s support for farmers’ organizations allows rural producers to influence national policies. Since 2007, over 8,500 market gardeners, more 40% of them women, have been trained at farmer field schools to use innovative techniques that increase yields by around 30%.

Agriculture and food security

History of cooperation

Switzerland has been represented in Burkina Faso since 1974 by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Since 1994, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has been providing budget support and technical assistance to bolster the economic efforts of the Burkinabe government. Switzerland’s 2017–20 strategy in Burkina Faso is focused on local economic development, basic edu­cation and vocational training, and governance and democracy, primarily in the eastern, central-western and northern regions. The SDC’s Global Programme Migration and Development implements a number of mobility and migration-related interventions in Burkina Faso, while cultural support aims to create spaces for education, reflection and expression, mainly for young people.

Current projects

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Technical assistance for the Central Tax Administration, Phase II

01.04.2016 - 31.03.2020

Burkina Faso is fighting against poverty and social inequality. Increased transparency and better domestic revenue mobilization help in dealing with those challenges. Additional resources – coming from a more efficient tax administration – allow the country to develop further while reducing external dependence. SECO funded a first phase of the project to the Central Tax Administration (2009-2014). The encouraging results obtained, also with regard to the fight against corruption, have allowed planning for a second phase to ensure sustainability of the progress made. Many crucial lessons have been learned. This allows to tackle this project with confidence in a context of political renewal and economic challenges in Burkina Faso.

Object 13 – 13 of 13