Burkina Faso

Speeches Shim

Burkina Faso Map OTI


Strengthening community resilience to violent extremism to address the specific problem sets that have allowed violent
extremist organizations to thrive, including disrupted livelihoods, weak government response, and social fragmentation.


Burkina Faso faces a threat that puts at risk significant democratic strides taken since the ouster of a 27-year regime. Violent extremist organizations (VEOs)—including armed militant and criminal groups, as well as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda aligned groups in the region—control territory and travel freely in northern Burkina Faso, while conducting complex attacks against state and civilian targets. The rapidly deteriorating security situation isolates entire towns, and the growing number of displaced people throughout the country poses a significant strain on already limited resources. 

USAID/OTI programming directly supports the U.S. Government’s (USG) counterterrorism strategy in the region by focusing on rapid response to the needs of communities on the front lines of conflict. Continued insecurity and VEO operations represent a broader threat to the Littoral States of West Africa. This critical window of opportunity for the Burkinabe government requires focus on areas of the country that have been long-neglected and marginalized. Current initiatives focus on expanding government presence and engaging with communities to resist VEO presence but require a whole-of-government approach.


The Burkina Faso Regional Program, BFRP, is designed to strengthen community resilience to violent extremism. BFRP provides crucial support to vulnerable communities in Nord, Sahel, and Est regions which are experiencing the highest levels of insecurity and violence. Program activities are adapted and implemented at the community level to address specific problem-sets that have allowed VEOs to thrive: weak capacity of local leaders to act, disruption of livelihoods, weak response of the state, and social fragmentation.


  • The lack of proper national identification documents, such as birth certificates, has long been an issue faced by marginalized groups throughout the country. With an increase in security checkpoints and curfews meant to impede additional attacks, a lack of official documents means potential detention and questioning, slowdown of economic activities, and a growing distrust and increased tensions between locals and state security. In response, BFRP is implementing a series of activities to provide approximately 20,000 national identification documents to vulnerable Burkinabe. Not only will the provision of these critical documents improve government and citizen relations by enhancing the government’s service delivery capacity and promoting trust, it will reduce the ability of VEOs to recruit
    disenfranchised locals.
  • As economic and educational opportunities have deteriorated, youth have been increasingly marginalized and idle within their communities, increasing their vulnerability to VEO exploitation. BFRP is working to create opportunities for youth to engage productively within their communities. In one activity, BFRP hosted a three-day communication workshop for 100 youth to identify fake social media posts and messages, verify online information, and critically review unknown profiles to help their peers resist online VEO recruitment tactics. During another activity, BFRP provided tutoring to help 200 students from shuttered local schools pass their next-level entrance exam in Oudalan Province, where VEO threats have closed nearly 90 percent of the region’s schools.
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Last updated: October 01, 2020

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