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Some Notes on Burkina Faso

Some Notes on Burkina Faso


On December 25, 2023, I arrived in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. This is my third time setting foot in this landlocked country in West Africa. Our company has been developing the West African market over the years. West Africa has vast land, suitable climate and rich natural resources. The West African market is a key market that our company has developed in recent years.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located on the upper reaches of the Volta River in western Africa, with a land area of 274,200 square kilometers. It borders Benin and Niger to the east, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo to the south, and Mali to the west and north. Burkina Faso is an ancient civilization in West Africa with about 60 different tribes in its territory. "Burkina Faso" means "the country of honorable men", a combination of burkina (meaning "honest man") in Mosi language, the main local language, and faso (meaning "country") in Bambara.

Burkina Faso is one of the least developed countries in the world and a major exporter of migrant workers to neighboring African countries. Economically, the country was founded on agriculture and animal husbandry, accounting for nearly 80% of the country's labor force. The country is short of resources and is located on the edge of a desert with less arable land. The only railway in the country runs from the capital Ouagadougou to Côte d'Ivoire. Burkina Faso's GDP in 2023 is US$23.3 billion, and its per capita GDP is US$832.9, ranking fifteenth from the bottom in the world.

In recent years, our company has won many projects in the Burkina Faso market, from the previous LED lamp tubes to the current LED street lights. The brand awareness of CHZ LIGHTING has been continuously increasing, thanks to the full cooperation with local partners. This time, at the kind invitation of the client, I flew from Lagos, Nigeria to Ouagadougou to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their families.

Driven by the customer, I visited the local application project of our street lights. In the past few days, the journey from Ouagadougou to Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city, was very hard. The country is on the edge of the Sahara Desert, with barren and arid land and low crop yields. In addition, it is a landlocked country with no ports and relatively backward transportation. Except for some gold mines in natural resources (it is the fourth largest gold mining country on the African continent), other important materials rely heavily on imports.

These are the solar lighting and mains lighting projects we have been engaged in, in the past few years.

These were project sites shot at night. Our products saved the local area a lot of electricity bills and also resulted in better lighting effects. Local people, as well as government customers, are very satisfied with the quality of these lights.

This country is building a major project, Sishan International Airport (Sishan), hoping to develop it into an important air transportation hub in West Africa. The project is generally contracted by a Chinese construction company, and the government borrowed money from China to build the project. The customer brought I went to the project site for inspection and visited the project leader, and we had an in-depth communication on the next step of cooperation.

However, since the 2020 epidemic, the economies of various countries have been affected to varying degrees, especially African countries, which have been hit hard. Western countries have also significantly reduced their economic assistance to Burkina Faso, leading to a serious economic deterioration. Later, due to the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the prices of grain and fertilizers rose sharply. The state's investment in the economy was seriously insufficient, and the economy and people's lives were severely difficult. Many government agencies also experienced serious problems due to lack of funds.

For many of the projects our clients do locally, they don’t get paid a penny for years after the project is completed. Many construction companies have been dragged down by government projects. My client also has a printing industry in the local area. His factory provides newspapers, periodicals and books to the government and schools. However, it has been moribundly delayed by government debts over the years. The newly put into production factory has been delayed again and again due to a serious lack of funds. It's been three years and it still hasn't been completed. Of course, it has also had an indirect impact on us. Due to payment problems, customers are required to receive full payment before they dare to ship goods.

Here, I hope that this country can formulate far-sighted economic policies, introduce a large amount of foreign investment and talents, encourage and support the development of industry and commerce, so that the national economy can return to normal as soon as possible, and the people can live a stable and prosperous life. We also hope to apply our energy-saving lighting products to more cities and make more contributions to the country's economic construction.

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