On the fringe of the Sahara desert of West Africa lies Burkina Faso landlocked by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The country is slightly larger in size than the UK.
Aside from desert, the country consists of low hills and savannah plateaus where the green tropical rain forest of the south changes into the dryer Sahel region in the north. Three of Burkino Faso’s rivers feed Ghana’s Volta River: the Mouhoun, the Nazinou and the Nakambe. In the southern and eastern parts of the country wildlife includes elephants, antelope, crocodiles, lions and buffalo with a rich and varied bird and insect life. The truly African capital, Ouagadougo, is increasingly modern with a French touch.
Formerly known as Upper Volta it was orignially inhabited by the Bobo, Lobi, and Gurunsi peoples, with the Mossi and Gurma peoples immigrating to the region in the 14th century. First a protectorate of France, it was made a separate colony in 1919 and gained independence from France in 1960.
Repeated military coups and multi-party elections have occurred on several occasions since its independence, with the current President taking power in a military coup in 1987, he has since instituted a multi-party system. Troubles in neighbouring Ivory Coast and northern Ghana have raised tensions hindering several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabé farm workers from finding employment in neighbouring countries.
Even though being one of the most densely populated states of West Africa with nearly 13 million people and with over 60 different tribes and languages, ethnic friction is rare and the rich mixture of peoples enriches the culture. The largest ethnic group is the Mossi, who make up 40% of the population, they are most commonly working as farmers in the central southern area and are of animistic religious background. A lighter skinned people, semi nomadic cattle herders by tradition, are the Fulanis’, that occupy the north of Burkina Faso.
Freedom of religion is honoured in law and in practice. More than 85% of the population are estimated to be animists in practice even if they belong to the Muslim, Catholic, Protestant or other religions.
The official language used by the government and taught in school is French but there are over 60 local languages in the country. Moré, the ethnic language of the Mossi tribe is spoken by about half of the population follwed by Dioula and Peulh – native African languages belonging to Sudanic family.
The density of the population and the country’s limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the major part of its citizens. 76% of the monthly income is spent on food, resulting in food shortages for the Burkinabe. Burkina Faso has few natural resources and a weak industrial base where around 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, often hit by periodic drought. The government has joined with Mali, Niger and Chad – three other cotton producing countries in the region to lobby in the World Trade Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing countries. The added burden of unfair debt repayments and unjust trade policies is another burden Burkina Faso suffers, which undermine its ability to work its way to a better future. After revising its investment code in 2004 to attract foreign investors based on this new code and other legislation favouring the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration and production.
The climate is semi-tropical, most of the time sunny, hot, dry and dusty. The hot season starts from mid-February to June, followed by the rainy season until September. The cool season starts Mid-November. The Harmattan, the dust-laden, hot wind from the Sahara, often blows in January and February.
Ouagadougou is the capital and the largest city of Burkina Faso with a population of 1,4 million, serving as the administrative, cultural, communication and economic center of the nation. The name of the capital (often shortened to Ouaga) “Wogodogo,” means “where people get honor and respect”. The old Central Mosque (also the tallest) and the Moro-Naba Palace are significant buildings and the one with the most modern architecture belongs to the West African Central Bank. The University of Ouagadougou , founded in 1974, was the country’s first institution of higher education.
Ouagadougou is relatively green city as gardens surround several artificial lakes at the edge of Ouagadougou, serving as the towns water reservoirs. The business district is centered with nearby bookstores, pharmacies, shops, stores, smaller outdoor markets and street vendors. Principal roads are paved and in good condition. The residential areas are adorned with large trees and walled compounds. Traffic is chaotic and streets are often crammed with vehicles, pedestrians, animals and animal carts. Many expats prefer driving the 4×4 as it allows them to travel with greater ease, especially during the rainy season.
Main foreign investors:
The industry is mainly limited to food processing and textiles. The Government of Burkina Faso (GOBF) has recently had success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), primarily in the mining sector. Successful efforts to stimulate business growth has been made by simplifying registration formalities and eliminating obstacles to opening a business. The government work with the World Bank to speed up the handling of bankruptcy cases and now ranks 148 out of 181 countries, (up from 164 in 2008) by the 2009 International Finance Corporation (IFC) report.
Ouagadougou is considered by most expats to be fairly pleasant and to be one of the cleanest and most secure cities in all of West Africa. Coming here with children presents certain challenges as local health and sanitation measures are beyond poor, why an excellent medical and evacuation coverage is strongly recommended before you arrive. The climate poses the greatest challenge why rest, fluids and intake of salt are essential to adjust to the semi-tropical heat. The dust-laden wind, Harmattan, often blows in January and February which leads to temporarily unpleasant living conditions and reduced visibility.
Before cooking, eating, or freezing, fruits and vegetables must be cleaned and soaked in an iodine or chlorine bleach solution. Imported foods and products can be found in the grocery stores that cater to the expatriates, but will be very expensive. Fresh fruits and vegetables are inexpensive and many are seasonal in variety and availability. Few of the merchants speak any French at the local market and tend to overcharge foreigners. In the dry season voltage fluctuations and short term power outages are common. Most local transactions are done in cash, but credit cards are gaining acceptance and ATM machines are also becoming more widely available.
The people are kind, patient, helpful and very tolerant why a friendly attitude will travel well with the Burkinabé. Learning French prior to arriving to the country will increase social opportunities that would otherwise be limited, as few locals speak English. Learning a few phrases in the local language Mooré, will impress the Burkinabé greatly.
Muslims will most commonly not shake hands with a person of the opposite sex. It is adviced against taking photos if you see a mask dance out in the streets as it is a traditional religious event. Cursing and swearing are frowned upon.
Expectations at cross-purposes due to economic differences between expats and the Burkinabé can make thing difficult and create tension in friendships. By hiring a cook, cleaner or nanny you will be able to do social good.
Business dress is informal and casual for both men and women. Dress code demands that women be covered from belly button to ankles, but exemptions are made for foreigners. Men wearing shorts are considered very undignified.
Leisure activities and opportunities:
Ouagadougou are proud of a large park that is suitable for walking, a botanical park and an amusement park for children. Leisure and options for sport includes horseriding, a trail ride around the countryside, tennis, a 18-hole laterite (dirt) golf course and the big hotels have pools where you can swim for a fee. Courses are in abundance as there are lots of private instructors available.
Opportunities for both day trips and weekend trips from Ouagadougou are plentiful, such as safaris at the Nazinga Ranch near Po, the mud huts Tiebele and the big market at Gorom Gorom. Near Boromo, the Winyé mask festival takes place every February where dancers wears the typical red, black and white Gourounsi-style masks. African art and culture is important and it is possible to see artisans at work in many places.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Burkina Faso please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ouagadougou, situated on the central plateau, grew around the imperial palace of the Mogho Naaba. Being an administrative center of colonial rule, it became an important urban center in the post-colonial era. First the capital of the Mossi Kingdoms and later of Upper Volta and Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou became a veritable communal center in 1995.
The name Ouagadougou dates back to the 15th century when the Ninsi tribes inhabited the area. They were in constant conflict until 1441 when Wubri, a Yonyonse hero and an important figure in Burkina Faso’s history, led his tribe to victory. He then renamed the area from “Kumbee-Tenga”, as the Ninsi had called it, to “Wogodogo”, meaning “where people get honor and respect”. Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the name.
Ouagadougou’s primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport, rail links to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and to Kaya in the north of Burkina, and a highway to Niamey, Niger.
Unfurnished properties will have no furniture whatsoever.
A semi-furnished property will include some basic furniture but this option is quite rare in Burkina Faso.
Fully furnished properties can include anything from the basics such as kitchen cupboards and basic furniture such as dining table and chairs, armchairs, beds, and bathroom furniture to everything you could possibly require in a property. Please note that the standard of furnishings varies and may not always be of the level that expatriates are used to.
There is some flexibility to negotiate rent as well as furnishings, depending on the landlord. Sometimes landlords will increase the rent when adding additional items of furniture.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have; Our Basic Package includes 8 properties and our Extended Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
A holding deposit is not typical and most landlords would not hold a property if another tenant would want to rent the property. It is the first to sign contract and pay that clinches the deal.
– Real Estate agency fee: usually 5% of the annual rent.
– Security deposit: usually 2-3 month rental value. Held by the landlord
– Rent is usually paid monthly
– No lease registration or stamp duty are required from the tenant
All Utilities are to be paid by the tenant according to consumption: Electricity and Water which are billed according to consumption.
Once a property is selected, HTLC Network will negotiate on your behalf. When an agreement has been reached, a legally valid contract is prepared. An appointment is arranged for the tenant (or company representative) and landlord to sign the contract.
All the copies of the contract should then be signed. Upon entry to the property, we will arrange a thorough inventory/property inspection together with the landlord and your Local Counsellor.
Provided that the property and any furnishings are returned in the state in which they were initially rented (HTLC Network will ensure a thorough inventory is taken of the property and furnishings upon entry) and the correct notice period is served to the landlord, HTLC Network will be able to negotiate a full deposit return when you vacate the property.
Generally outdoor maintenance (paintwork, railings etc.) is the responsibility of the landlord. Indoor maintenance of a general nature is the responsibility of the tenant. This will be clearly specified in the rental contract.
Only with written consent of the landlord.
The property is to be handed back in exactly the same state it was consigned. Therefore, any holes made in the walls must be filled and painted over before leaving the property, unless a different agreement is made with the landlord.
In case alterations have been made to improve the property without the written permission of the landlord, the landlord has the right not to reimburse any expenses the tenant has had in relation to the work. In cases where the landlord does not approve o the changes made, he/she has the right to require the tenant to return the property back to its original condition.
Emc Network do our utmost to ensure that the property rental contract includes a diplomatic break clause for the protection of the Tenant, however Landlords are not obliged to agree to such. Unless such an eventuality is stipulated in the contract, the time of which the contract is agreed upon, must be respected.
If a contract is breached, full payment is due according to the duration of the contract.
Utility payments are paid in addition to rent , therefore electricity and water are to be paid as well as telephone where there is a landline to the property. Gas is only available as bottled gas and is paid by the tenant.
Yes, this is available as well as Cable TV.
Yes, this is available.
Normally it will be istalled within one month.
Bills will arrive monthly.
This can be set up through the normal phone line.
Driving in Burkina Faso can be hazardous. Roads are usually unpaved and generally in bad condition. There are few streetlights. Pedestrians, bicycles, carts, and vehicles without headlights pose serious hazards. Many trucks transit the country at night. Travel after dark is not recommended.
Any car must be officially imported and registered locally before you can drive it in Burkina Faso.
Yes, all driving licenses are legally valid, but International driving licenses are preferred and should be renewed every year or converted into a local licence after one year. After conversion into a local licence no renewal will be required.
A work permit is not formally required, just an approved employment agreement and a long term visa or Residence Permit.
No, you can enter with a short-term visa and we will assist to get long-term residence in-country.
Dependant family members can apply for Residence Permit on the basis of being accompanying family members.
As in all developing countries, foreigners stand out and are easy targets for petty crime and theft. It is important to move about with caution, not to go into areas that are particularly dangerous or deserted and to be discreet in the display of your material wealth.
It is recommended that security provisions are put in place for residential and commercial properties. Many properties include 24hr security surveillance and where it is not included it must be sourced through a reliable local provider. It is also advisable for Transferees to keep in touch with their embassies.
Yes, before arriving to the country a foreigner must be vaccinated against yellow fever, meningitis A CW135 , hepatitis A and typhoid.
It is recommended that you check with your own Embassy before embarking on travel to Burkina Faso.
Yes, the ones mentioned above and as common throughout this area of Africa, malaria is rampant. Precautions should be taken before and during ones stay.
– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Netowork’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
HTLC Network will prepare all the necessary paperwork, email it to the Company and direct as to how the various documents are to be printed out and signed. We will send one of our Local Counsellors with Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the individual and company.
When the Transferee has to be present to apply for a document, he will be accompanied by our Local Counsellor.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.
HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of a document demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
Area: 274,200 sq km
Time Zone: GMT
Capital city: Ouagadougo
Bordering countries: Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo
Climate: Tropical, warm, dry winters, hot, wet summers
Stateform: Parliamentary Republic
Legislative Branch: Unicameral National Assembly
National Holiday: 11 December
Currency: CFA Franc (XOF)
Population: 13 million (July 2009 est)
Religion: Muslim majority, indigenous beliefs and Christian (Catholic and Protestant)
Languages: French (official), Moré, Dioula and Peulh together with other approx. 60 local languages.