Burkina Faso has a large mineral sector consisting of gold, manganese, limestone and marble. This sector was relatively undeveloped till foreign investors particularly from Canada and the UK profoundly financed mining activities in the country. In 2012 Burkina Faso was recorded as the 3rd largest site for gold exploration in Africa and the 4th largest gold producer in Africa.
The limestone deposits are also a significant segment in the Burkina Faso mineral sector as it also contributes to the cement manufacturing industry of the country. The growing manufacturing sector is also composed of the cotton and food processing fragments.
The demand for power in Burkina Faso is certainly rising and measures are being taken by the Government to ensure that the demand is met accordingly in order to facilitate the efficiency of business activities and ultimately attract privates sector and foreign investors.
Burkina Faso’s power sector is controlled by the state owned entity, Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso (SONABEL) established in Ouagadougou in 1995. Burkina Faso relies 59% on fossil fuel (diesel) and 41% on renewable energy (mainly large hydro and solar) for electricity generation. Burkina Faso also receives power from Ghana through the Volta River Authority in order to supplement the generation by SONABEL.
Hydroelectricity, the primary power source in Burkina Faso has a restricted potential. This source is affected by the irregular rainfall pattern in the country. The constraints on the utilization of hydropower led the country to diversify and set up thermal power generation plants, and solar plants to meet the fast growing demand.
The electricity sub-sector has been facing recurring power outages, greatly affecting the main urban areas in the country such as Ouagadougou; they last for long periods in a day, on an average of eight hours each day. Despite this setback, Burkina Faso is taking commendable steps to resolve the situation and is making gradual progress by implementing policies that encourage the participation of the private sector.
The government of Burkina Faso is highly keen on attracting participation from private sector players in the power industry thus an investor friendly environment has been created. The government is also particularly interested in the renewable energy sector and has set an ambitious goal to have 50% of its energy mix consist of renewable energy by 2025.
- Burkina Faso: Electricity Infrastructure Strengthening And Rural Electrification Project”. African Development Bank Group.
- CIA World Fact Book.
- SONABEL – Historique. Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso.
- U.S Department of State. 2014. Department Of State: 2014 Investment Climate Statement- Burkina Faso.