2016 Index of Economic Freedom

Burkina Faso

overall score59.1
world rank104
Rule of Law

Property Rights30.0

Freedom From Corruption38.0

Limited Government

Government Spending76.8

Fiscal Freedom82.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom46.3

Labor Freedom58.9

Monetary Freedom84.9

Open Markets

Trade Freedom68.2

Investment Freedom65.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 17.4 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $29.3 billion
    • 4.0% growth
    • 6.4% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,682 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 3.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • -0.3%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $341.9 million
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Burkina Faso’s landlocked economy still relies heavily on agricultural production. Deeper structural and institutional reforms are critically needed to maintain stability, diversify the production base, and ensure long-term economic development. A new mining code adopted in June 2015 is intended to standardize contract terms and provide greater clarity on regulations.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 59.1 (up 0.5 point)
  • Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
  • Global Ranking: 104th
  • Regional Ranking: 14th in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Notable Successes: Monetary Freedom
  • Concerns: Property Rights, Corruption, and Regulatory Efficiency
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: –1.5

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Background

President Blaise Compaoré, who seized power in 1987, was ousted in a coup in late 2014. In 2015, the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice ruled against a law approved by interim President Michel Kafando that would have excluded a number of potential candidates who supported Compaoré from the October presidential elections. In September 2015, members of the elite Regiment of Presidential Security, considered loyal to Compaoré, unseated the interim government in a coup but then relinquished control, and elections were postponed. Burkina Faso is one of the world’s poorest countries and relies heavily on cotton and gold exports. Approximately 80 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 30.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 38.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Although the Compaoré regime was forced from power in late 2014, any new government still faces the daunting task of reducing widespread corruption. The judiciary is weak. Courts, often unwilling or unable to pursue effective prosecution of senior officials charged with corruption, are further weakened by a lack of resources and citizens’ poor knowledge of their rights. Only about 5,000 land titles have been granted since 1960.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top individual income and corporate tax rates are 27.5 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 14.5 percent of total domestic income. Government spending amounts to 27.8 percent of GDP. Public debt remains below 30 percent of GDP but has been increasing. Continuing dependence on gold exports to finance oil imports threatens fiscal health.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Measures to streamline the regulatory process, despite mixed progress, have helped to enhance the overall entrepreneurial environment and maintain some momentum for reform. Limited measures to modernize the labor market and enhance its flexibility have been undertaken. The state subsidizes fuel and electricity, maintains price supports for cotton, and influences other prices through the public sector.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Burkina Faso has an average tariff rate of 8.4 percent. Importation of goods is time-consuming and expensive. State-owned enterprises distort several sectors, including electricity and mail delivery. The government has pursued banking liberalization and restructuring, encouraging competition in the financial sector, but banking remains underdeveloped and provides a low level of access to basic financial services.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Burkina Faso Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Burkina Faso to other economic country groups Download Charts

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius74.7-1.7
2Botswana71.11.3
3Cabo Verde66.50.1
4Rwanda63.1-1.7
5Ghana630.0
6Seychelles62.24.7
7South Africa61.9-0.7
8Namibia61.92.3
9Madagascar61.1-0.6
10Côte d'Ivoire 601.5
11Swaziland59.7-0.2
12Benin59.30.5
13Uganda59.3-0.4
14Burkina Faso59.10.5
15Gabon590.7
16Zambia58.80.1
17Tanzania58.51.0
18Senegal58.10.3
19Kenya57.51.9
20Nigeria57.51.9
21The Gambia57.1-0.4
22São Tomé and Príncipe 56.73.4
23Mali56.50.1
24Djibouti56-1.5
25Mauritania54.81.5
26Niger54.3-0.3
27Cameroon54.22.3
28Burundi53.90.2
29Togo53.60.6
30Guinea53.31.2
31Mozambique 53.2-1.6
32Comoros52.40.3
33Sierra Leone52.30.6
34Liberia52.2-0.5
35Guinea-Bissau51.8-0.2
36Malawi51.8-3.0
37Ethiopia51.50.0
38Lesotho50.61.0
39Angola48.91.0
40Democratic Republic of Congo46.41.4
41Chad46.30.4
42Central African Republic45.2-0.7
43Equatorial Guinea43.73.3
44Republic of Congo 42.80.1
45Eritrea42.73.8
46Zimbabwe38.20.6
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