Burkina Faso is indeed really poor. But it has been really poor for a long time. And as a land-locked country in the Sahel, it will likely never be very rich. The last 20 years have seen solid economy growth, if unequally distributed. But education and health have improved all across the country, and cell phone networks and road networks have transformed many villages and towns. Blaise Compaoré deserves little of the credit, and his crimes (killing of Norbert Zongo more than enough) make him illegitimate. But he did not preside over a Burkina Faso that became more impoverished.
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