After more than a quarter century under the authoritarian government of Blaise Compaoré, Burkina Faso has embarked on a process of democratic renewal. This new chapter was ushered in by the popular uprising in October 2014, which put an end to Compaoré’s attempt to revise the constitution and seek re-election in 2015. The subsequent one-year tenure of a transitional government was replete with difficulties, including the abortive coup of September 16, 2015. These challenges, however, only served to galvanize popular support for the rule of law and the resolve to defend democratic advances. In the last few years, Burkina Faso has become one of the leaders of democratic development on the continent.
CIPE’s cooperation with FREE Afrik reflects its broader strategy to promote democracy and market-based reform initiatives in the region. As in other countries of francophone Africa, CIPE’s project in Burkina Faso focuses particularly on strengthening the voice and visibility of small business in the democratic arena, seeking to take advantage of democratic openings when and where they occur. The program also serves as a building block for a wider engagement with the Sahel region and its current political, economic, and security challenges. In addition, CIPE worked closely with the government of Burkina Faso, the US Chamber of Commerce and the World Movement for Democracy to launch the Ouagadougou declaration in 2018 that encourages greater collaboration between business, civil society and government to address democratic governance challenges.