Burkina Faso - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges
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Burkina Faso is a landlocked country and relies on neighboring countries, particularly Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Ghana, for access to ports and to some extent its energy supply.  Since peace returned to Cote d’Ivoire in 2011, Abidjan has regained its status as the number one port for its neighbor to the north.  The port in Abidjan is 712 miles from Ouagadougou, and goods arriving in Abidjan take on average seven days (not including time taken for formalities at the port or export control) to reach Burkina Faso’s capital.  Lomé (Togo) is the second-most important port for trade with Burkina Faso, while the port of Tema in Ghana is the third-most important port.

Though there have been great strides in improving the regulatory environment for doing business in Burkina Faso, an unskilled and uneducated workforce, poor transportation infrastructure, periodic shortages of water and electricity, high energy costs, a deteriorating security environment, and a weak judicial system pose challenges for potential investors.

Burkina Faso’s official language is French, and English is not widely spoken.  U.S. companies seeking to do business in Burkina Faso often seek interpreter services.