Burkina Faso: Social & Economic Development

By Agnihotri, Newal K. | Presidents & Prime Ministers, May 1998 | Go to article overview

Burkina Faso: Social & Economic Development


Agnihotri, Newal K., Presidents & Prime Ministers


An interview with Ambassador Bruno N. Zidouemba, Burkina Faso.

Question

Please elaborate on the international as well as the regional organizations that your country belongs to. What improvements would you like to have in these organizations to make their existence beneficial to your country?

Answer

Ever since the downfall of the Berlin wall, the world has been living new realities. In lieu of the ideological considerations, there are other priorities that we can name: development, respect of human rights, and democracy.

This situation involves a new hierarchy in the nation's preoccupation that might affect the evolution and the direction of international organizations.

In regards to the United Nations organization, Burkina Faso has three major concerns:

First, the maintenance and consolidation of peace, stability, and international security by reorganizing the Security Council to be more just and equitable, and to take a definitive recourse towards a preventive diplomacy;

Secondly, the protection and consolidation of international solidarity between nations by reinforcing the organizations and the international agencies working directly for our nations: Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), etc;

Lastly, the consideration of the interests of the developing countries in the elaboration and the application of international treaties. For example, the treaty on desertification and global warming should balance the needs of development of our countries, and the protection of the environment requirements.

In regards to the Organization of African Unity (OAU), this year the organization will hold its annual summit of Heads of States in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. At the closing of the summit, our President, Blaise Compaore, will assume for one year the presidency of the organization, and our ambition is to mark this mandate with a memorable impression.

At the moment, a reflection is in course in Burkina Faso as well as in Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the OAU, to make this summit a success. One of the most commended reforms to be reached within the OAU is the implementation of a mechanism of prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts in Africa. This mechanism should be reinforced to enable Africans to prevent the numerous crises taking place in the continent instead of waiting until it is too late, causing us to appeal to outsiders to resolve our conflicts.

At the level of West African subregional organizations, Burkina Faso is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), whose objective is to achieve an integrated economy for the West African sub-region. Within this organization we have already set up the free movement of people and goods, a reality to be reinforced and expanded. The West African Economic and Monetary Union, whose headquarters is in Ouagadougou, is a sub-group of the ECOWAS which achieved a monetary union, and is working at the moment to bring to completion a customs union. Burkina Faso is a member of other sub-regional organizations, such as CILSS, le Conseil de l'Entente, etc.

Question

How are your relations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?

Answer

In 1991, Burkina Faso obtained the support and assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for the elaboration and execution of its Structural Adjustment Program. Since that date, the traditional budgetary austerity of Burkina Faso, and its efficient management of the economy, served as a basis for a strong partnership between the two parties.

These good relationships account for the continuation of these programs today. In the meantime, these relationships enabled Burkina Faso to improve its main economical and social development indicators; restore macro-economics and financial stability; and undertake the liberalization of the national economy by the creation of a new institutional and regulatory framework--the privatization of the state-owned industrial and commercial enterprises, and the promotion of the investments in the private sector. …

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