Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Known locally as Ouaga, Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso. Situated in the middle of the country, it is the country’s political and communications centre.
Ouagadougou was the capital of the Mossi kingdom of Wagadugu and the seat of its leader, the Moro Naba, or Ruler of the World. It was built around the Mossi palace of Mogho Naaba. The town came under French colonial rule at the end of the nineteenth century when the colony of Upper Volta was created. When the colony achieved independence in 1960, and later when it was renamed Burkina Faso in 1984, Ouagadougou remained its capital.
Major industries include textiles, footwear and matches, while the surrounding agricultural region specializes in peanuts. The University of Ouagadougou was established in 1969. It has an international airport as well as being connected to the Côte d’Ivoire by rail and Niger by road. Biannually the city hosts the FESPACO Panafrican cinema festival, alternating with an international crafts show, the Salon international d’Artisanat Africain.
Places of Interest
Le Centre National de l’Artisanat promotes indigenous crafts, while the Musée National exhibits craftwork from different ethnic groups, including masks, jewellery, musical instruments and pottery.