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Location of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso
Location of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso
Typical street scene. Shows the Place des Nations Unies in the center of the city.
Typical street scene. Shows the Place des Nations Unies in the center of the city.
Ouagadougou (WAH-GAH-doo-goo) is the capital of Burkina Faso. It is the country's largest city, with a population of 960,116 ( 2000) and is the communications, cultural and economic centre as well as the administrative centre. Its name is often shortened to Ouaga.The city is roughly in the centre of the country (12.4° N 1.5° W). Its primary industries are food processing and textiles. Ougadougou is served by an international airport, rail links to Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire and to Kaya in the north of Burkina, and a highway to Niamey, Niger.The University of Ouagadougou, founded in 1974, was the country's first institution of higher education.The city has few major modern buildings, excepting the headquarters of the West African Central Bank, and the old Ouagadougou Central Mosque remains one of the tallest and most significant buildings. The city hosts the annual FESPACO African film festival. In part as a result, there are many cinemas, alongside nightclubs and French, American and Zaka cultural centres. There is also the biennial SIAO craft festival, which claims to be the largest in Africa.Ouagadougou is the site of Ouagadougou Grand Market, one of the largest markets in West Africa. Other attractions include the National Museum of Burkina Faso, the Moro-Naba Palace (site of the Moro-Naba Ceremony) and several craft markets. Other major buildings include Ouagadougou Cathedral and the Maison du Peuple.Every two years the city hosts the renowned FESPACO (Le Festival Panafrican du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou) film festival, the largest such festival in Africa.

History - Contents

The state of Ouagadougou was founded in the 11th century, around the central settlement of Kombemtinga. In 1441, it became capital of the Mossi empire. The state was grouped with three others into the French colony of Upper Volta (Haute Volta) in 1919. Kombemtinga, renamed Ouagadougou, became the capital following the 1896 French conquest of the area. In 1960, Ouagadougou became the capital city of the independent Republic of Upper Volta, which was renamed Burkina Faso by Thomas Sankara in 1984.

Sectors - Contents

The city is divided into 30 sectors. Areas of Ouagadougou include Gounghin, Kamsaoghin, Koulouba, Moemmin, Niogsin, Paspanga, Peuloghin and Tiendpalogo.
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