Independence Day in Burkina Faso Date in the current year: August 5, 2019

Independence Day in Burkina Faso Independence Day is a major public holiday in Burkina Faso. Celebrated on August 5, it commemorates the day when the country gained full independence from France in 1960.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa surrounded by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. Formerly known as Upper Volta, it gained its current name in 1984. Like most its neighbors, except for Ghana, Burkina Faso used to be a French colony.

The territory of present-day Burkina Faso was first inhabited thousands of years ago, but ethnic groups that make up the country’s current population arrived here somewhat between the 8th and the 16th centuries. During the Middle Ages, the region was dominated by the Mossi, but they were defeated by Songhai in 1483. In the 18th century, the city of Bobo-Dioulasso became the center of the Gwiriko Empire.

Europeans made their first attempts to claim parts of the region in 1890s. The countries that expressed interest in the territory of what is now Burkina Faso were Britain, France and Germany. At times they tried to take land from the local peoples by force; at times they made treaties with local chiefs as well as with each other. Eventually, Burkina Faso became a French colony in 1896.

The modern borders of the country were established in 1898 by the Franco-British Convention. In 1904, most of its territory was incorporated into Upper Senegal and Niger, a newly created colony within French West Africa. Fifteen years later, France separated the territory of Burkina Faso from Upper Senegal and Niger to bolster its administration and prevent armed uprisings. The new colony was named French Upper Volta after its location along the Volta River.

The colony’s governor attempted to grow cotton for export, but his coercion-based cotton policy failed. Since France didn’t get much revenue from Upper Volta, the colony was dismantled in 1932. Its territory was split between other French colonies in West Africa, namely French Sudan, Ivory Coast and Niger.

After the Second World War, colonial empires began to collapse due to intense anti-colonial agitation. The colony of Upper Volta came to existence again on September 4, 1947, becoming a part of the French Union.

In 1956, France began to reorganize its overseas territories, granting them a larger degree of self-government. Two years later, the French Fourth Republic was succeeded by the Fifth Republic. The new government promised to grant French colonies independence after a transitional period. Upper Volta became an autonomous republic within the French Community in 1958.

In 1960, seventeen African nations declared their independence, resulting in the year being referred to as the Year of Africa. Upper Volta was among them. The Republic of Upper Volta became fully independent from France on August 5, 1960. It was renamed Burkina Faso (“the land of honest men”) in 1984.

Independence Day is the national holiday of Burkina Faso. Official events are held in the capital city of Ouagadougou, but there are no large-scale festivities because of the country’s hard economic situation.

Remind me with Google Calendar

Category

Public Holidays

Country

Burkina Faso

Tags

independence day in burkina faso, independence day, national holiday, independence from france, upper volta, holidays in burkina faso