Since 1991 Burkina Faso has followed several macroeconomic programs developed with the IMF.
The financial system has therefore been subject to the “Plan de renforcement de la gestion budgétaire” (PRGB) for the past 15 years, a strict reform package whose implementation is generally viewed as positive. In 2003/04 the program was revised and in 2007 it was further developed into the “Stratégie de Renforcement des Finances Publiques” (SRFP). The plan comprised economic, financial and social aspects and was based on the Millennium Development Goals. It was primarily about a reorientation of the entire budget and financial policy.
The privatization of state-owned companies has reached its limits in recent years. After negative experiences with ONATEL, the privatization of the water, electricity and gas companies ONEA, SONABEL and SONABHY was canceled. They operate satisfactorily and, because of their key function, remain in the hands of the state. In the course of the increase in fuel prices, a privatization or reform of SONABHY is being discussed by the opposition and consumer associations.
In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (Objectifs du millénaire pour le développement) and to implement the program to combat poverty CSLP (Cadre stratégique de lutte contre la pauvreté), the former Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, Lucien Marie Noël Bembamba, had the SCADD in 2011 as an orientation for economic policy -2015 (Stratégie de croissance accélérée et de développement durable) elaborate. The goal is double-digit economic growth. SCADD was based on four axes:
- Promote areas relevant to growth and reduce economic barriers,
- Developing an economic infrastructure,
- sustainably strengthen the framework conditions for development,
- Promote human potential.
The focus was on an extensive employment program, especially for women and young people. Another point was the subsidization of gasoline. Agriculture should be promoted by subsidizing improved seeds, fertilizers, mechanization and processing of products, mining should be better and more profitably organized, and tourism, infrastructure and energy should also be promoted. New major projects were started. A committee was formed for the construction of the new Donsin Airport (35 km north-east of Ouagadougou). Road rehabilitation, electrification in rural areas and the construction of 10,000 social housing were also part of the program. A donor roundthe program “Bâtir ensemble un pays émergent” (= “Building a flourishing land together”) to finance the SCADD in the years 2011-2015 was presented. The funding amounted to 7,000 billion FCFA, of which 63.3% will be covered by own resources and for the remaining 36.7% foreign sources will be sought. In March 2014 the economy was boosted by special measures amounting to 110 billion FCFA. One example was the valorisation of the Bagre dam, ” Bagrépôle “, for which partners were recruited to finance.
According to pharmacylib, critic accused economic policy and the SCADD of being too interested in growth figures and their mystification, but far too little in the real basic needs of the population. According to a study started in July 2015 for a second phase of the SCADD, there was a lack of coherence between the various political decisions in the implementation of economic and development policy goals. She recommended strengthening the planning sector.
A Comité d’orientation et de supervision (COS) set up by the government presented the social and economic development plan (Plan national de développement économique et social (PNDES)) in July 2016. The program costs around 15,000 billion FCFA (€ 23 billion) for the years 2016 to 2020 and is 60% financed by the state.
50,000 new jobs every year, the reduction of the poverty rate below 35% and an average annual economic growth of 8.5% are the ambitious goals of the plan.
In April 2017, the Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Affairs Clément Sawadogo approved the selection process for 22,755 new public service posts.
According to the former Burkinabe ambassador in Berlin (March 2014), the prospects for investment have improved in recent years.
Economic and Monetary Union
Monetary, credit and currency policy is in the hands of the Central Bank of the West African States (Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest – BCEAO). The African Franc FCFA (Franc de la Communauté Financière Africaine) is the only currency in 15 francophone countries in Central and West Africa (and Comoros). Since the introduction of the euro, the FCFA has had a fixed exchange rate to the euro.
Since the beginning of 2017, an international pan-African movement has been fighting against the colonial legacy of the African franc and calling for its abolition. Many opponents of the FCFA believe that the currency would enslave the countries and pervert reality. A movement of Citoyen africain pour la renaissance (CAR) met in Ouagadougou on January 7th, 2017. At the head of the anti-FCFA front is the NGO “Urgence Panafricaine”. The economics professor Abdoulay Séré stated that 50% of Africa’s money reserves are in France, where currency convertibility would be available. The delegates agreed that a new currency must be based on the development efforts of the African countries.
Representatives of the banks consider such criticism to be out of date and emphasize that this banking and currency system has proven itself – even during the crisis in Ivory Coast – and continues to guarantee economic stability.
Burkina Faso’s foreign trade policy is geared towards the process of regional integration. The country is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, UEMOA, and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS / CEDEAO. Within the framework of the UEMOA, trade barriers have largely been dismantled. The member states introduced a common external tariff on January 1st, 2000. In the long term, ECOWAS and UEMOA have the goal of creating a single market with one currency.