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Financial Sector Overview

Recent Economic Developments

The structure of Burkina Faso's economy is characterized by high dependence on agriculture and, consequently, on climatic hazards. Agriculture employs about 80% of the country's working population and cotton contributes about two-thirds of the State's revenue. Burkina Faso is the leading cotton producer in Africa with an estimated harvest of 683,000 tonnes in the 2016-2017 season. The country has a weak industrial base and few natural resources. Gold and zinc are the two main export products of extractive origin. In 2016, the Burkinabe economy rebounded with GDP growth of 5.9% after two years of slowdown. Since the arrival of a new government in 2016, the country has benefited from a more favorable economic environment that has facilitated the economy's recovery. The 2019 economic growth outlook is projected to be 6.0%. and 5.9% in 2020.

Financial Institutions

Burkina Faso's financial system includes 13 commercial banks, 3 banking-like financial institutions, 16 insurance and reinsurance companies and 153 licensed microfinance entities. These institutions operate within a harmonized regulatory framework and are organised around several community bodies, the most important of which are the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Banking Commission, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA).

The banking sector's supervision and prudential control is conducted by the WAEMU Banking Commission, which is responsible for granting and revoking operating licenses to credit institutions except microfinance institutions whose authorizations are managed by the Ministry of Finance. The Commission is also responsible for administrative oversight and imposing disciplinary measures and sanctions on non-compliant credit institutions.

The National Insurance Directorate of the Ministry of Economy and Finance oversees the insurance sector alongside the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA) that supervises activities of the actors at the regional level. CIMA's role is to assist national authorities in regulating the insurance sector and to ensure compliance with prudential rules.

The WAEMU Financial Markets Authority (AMF-UEMOA), formerly known as the Regional Council on Investments and Financial Markets (CREPMF), is the regulatory body of the regional stock exchange (BRVM) to which Burkina belongs. Two Burkinabe companies are listed on the BRVM.

Banking Sector

Banks continue to dominate Burkina Faso's financial sector. The four largest banks hold nearly 65% of all banking and financial sector assets under BCEAO's control. The country's 13 banks had a balance sheet total of CFAF 4,466 billion in 2016, up 19% over the year. Burkinabe banks are sufficiently capitalized and contribute about CFAF 70 billion annually to the cotton season. Previously, a source of vulnerability for the sector, the government's position in the banking system seems to have been stabilized. As a result, compliance by Burkina Faso's banks with regional prudential standards has improved significantly. The profitability of average assets also increased significantly, while profits rose by 34% in 2016: Customer deposits of all banks present in Burkina Faso represent just over 31% of GDP.

By 2016, 12 banks had maintained a capital adequacy ratio at least equivalent to the minimum prudential level and 9 banks met prudential liquidity requirements. The delinquency ratio represented 10.2% of total loans granted, up from 9.9% in the same period of 2015. The level of provisions as a proportion of these overdue debts also increased, from 61.2% to 67%. While about 29% of bank loans in sub-Saharan Africa were made to the private sector in 2015, only 26% of them were destined for the private sector in 2016, with a strong concentration on the trade sector. Historically privileged due to the importance of cotton cultivation in the economy, agriculture now accounts for only 1.5% of the loans granted by Burkinabe banks. The amount of credit granted in Burkina Faso fell by 7.7% between 2015 and 2016, attributable largely to a decline in credit lending to private companies.

The official lending rate in Burkina Faso stood at 7.54% in 2016, slightly lower than in 2015, but at a relatively high level compared to the average for the region, which stood at 6.93% in 2016. This downward trend is the result of the easing of monetary conditions by the Central Bank, that reduced its key lending rate to 3.50% in December 2016 from 4.25% in 2010.

The Agricultural Bank of Burkina Faso (BADF) has officially started its operations in March 2019.

Financial Inclusion

Despite recent progress, difficulties in access to financial services remain. About 39% of Burkinabe adults are excluded from the financial system. According to the latest available figures, only about 15% of these adults have a bank account and a much smaller proportion actually use these accounts for traditional banking transactions such as saving or borrowing. About 1 in 2 Burkinabé does not have a savings product. The country ranks 13th out of 21 countries in the 2016 Finscope report, which measures the level of financial inclusion of sub-Saharan African countries.

These low rates are partly explained by the existence of structural barriers such as low incomes, the cost of services, distance from the point of service, complex documentary requirements. Additionally, there are increasing differences in access to finance based on education and income earnings as well as the fact that generally women are less likely than men to have a bank account. Due to low access to formal bank credit, the use of informal arrangements such as borrowing from family and friends remains predominant. 21% of adults surveyed in the Finscope use only informal mechanisms. Similarly, mobile banking usage remains very low, despite the large number of mobile phone subscribers estimated in 2015 at over 12 million. According to the latest Findex statistics, just over 3 million adults have a mobile money account, reflecting the importance of the growth potential.

Regional and national authorities have initiated measures to improve financial inclusion, the most recent of which are:

  • At the regional level, the adoption, by the WAEMU Council of Ministers, of a financial inclusion strategy for the period 2016-2020, based on five pillars, including the promotion of effective regulatory and legal frameworks and the strengthening of the microfinance sector and financial literacy;
  • The development of a national financial inclusion strategy, with the assistance of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

In view of the low income of the majority of the population, the recommendations made by development institutions also include the creation of a framework for reducing or eliminating account maintenance fees in order to deepen bank coverage.

Microfinance activities, particularly savings collection and credit granting, are subject to prior authorization by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Supervision is carried out by the General Directorate of the Treasury and Public Accounting (DGTCP) through the Microfinance Directorate. Microfinance institutions are organized under a professional association called the Burkina Faso Professional Association of Microfinance Institutions (APIM-BF).

The country had 153 Decentralized Financial Systems (DFS) in 2014, including 7 networks (cooperatives, credit unions, community banks) accounting for just over half of the DFS. Its institutions mainly serve rural populations and finance the needs of farmers and smallholders. In 2015, the access rate to microfinance was 18.08% compared to 17.20% in 2014.

Between 2016 and 2017, the savings collected increased from CFAF 192.6 billion to CFAF 198 billion. The Faitière des caisses populaires (FCPB) alone accounts for 70% of deposits, compared with 30% for the rest of the DFS, and 64% of members/clients. Over the same period, the number of direct members/clients or shareholders increased by 10%, and outstanding loans reached CFAF 160 billion. Outstanding loans, although slightly down by 1% in 2017, remain significant.

The consolidation of the microfinance sector continues. In 2015, the regulator withdrew the license of one financial institution, and liquidated its assets. Overall, the FCPB network contributes to improving the sector's indicators. Although the microfinance sector is about 40 years old, it is still struggling to ensure its sustainability.

Insurance Sector

The insurance penetration rate in Burkina Faso remains low (1.55% in 2016 compared to 1.43% in 2015). However, the sector has grown significantly in recent years, mainly driven by the non-life segment, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the market.

In 2016, the sector achieved a turnover of CFAF 66 billion, up 14% compared to 2015. The industry leader has more than 27% market share in the non-life segment and about one-third in the life segment.

The Professional Association of Insurance Companies of Burkina Faso (APSAB) brings together the insurance players in the sector. It has 17 members, including eight non-life insurance companies, eight life insurance companies and one reinsurance company.

Stock Exchange

Burkina Faso is a member of the Regional Securities Exchange (BRVM), based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. In December 2016, the capitalization of the regional stock market was higher than Burkina Faso's GDP. The market for fixed-rate instruments is integrated with those of other WAEMU members. The central bank, governments and regional banks issue bonds and treasury bills to finance public expenditure in order to reduce the volume of loans contracted with the central bank, although the BCEAO remains the largest issuing entity in the region.

Markets for regional and national fixed-rate instruments are still in their infancy. Issuance by institutional entities remains limited. Investors can access markets directly or indirectly through various brokers and resellers. Foreign investors participate in the market through local banks. Commercial banks still dominate the investor base as the main buyers of treasury bills and bonds. Access to secondary markets in the WAEMU region remains limited. All transactions are carried out through licensed intermediaries, while most investors adopt a buy-and-hold approach.

Social Security System

Burkina Faso's pension system is based on a sharing system. Social security benefits are provided by the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). It manages three branches of benefits including retirement for workers covered by the Labour Code and the Autonomous Civil Servants' Pension Fund (CARFO) which covers civil servants and provides old age, disability and death benefits.

Notwithstanding the management problems inherent in public entities these social welfare institutions face challenges in the low rate of distribution that results from imbalances between working people and retirees. Unfortunately, the voluntary insurance introduced in 2006 through the law on the social security system applicable to salaried workers and assimilated workers did not generate the expected enthusiasm. Out of a forecast of 45,000 voluntary insured per year, the CNSS has only had 9,712 voluntary insured since 2006, with an estimated coverage rate of 5.2%.

In 2017, the government organized a national retirement forum to discuss the future of pension systems managed by the CNSS and CARFO. Expected reforms could include a funded system to ensure the stability of the pension system.

Burkina Faso is part of the CIPRES (Inter-African Conference on Social Security) zone, which is an inspection and technical support body for African Social Security Funds, bringing together 15 French-speaking African countries (excluding Equatorial Guinea).

Contact Details Information of Banks Operating in Burkina Faso







 01 BP 362 Ouaga 01 Burkina Faso

 (+226) 70 20 01 28 / (+226) 70 20 03 51


 633, Rue Maurice Bishop 01 BP 145 Ouagadougou 01

 (+226) 78 78 40 00 /  (+226) 50 31 89 75


 1242 Avenue Dr Kwame N'Krumah 01 BP 6585 Ouaga 01

 (+226)  70 16 27 27 / (+226) 78 94 45 54 / (+226) 79 35 29 09


 01 BP 3407 Ouaga 01 Burkina Faso

 (+226) 78 90 85 18


 653, Avenue Dr Kwamé N’KRUMAH
01 BP 1336 Ouagadougou 01

  (+226) 74 84 08 96


 1200, Avenue Dr Kwamé N'Krumah BP 5585 - OUAGADOUGOU 01

 (+226) 25 30 63 33


 479, Avenue Kwamé N'KRUMAH
01 B.P. 8 Ouagadougou 01

 (+226) 70 54 89 67 / (+226) 70 14 34 52


 770, Avenue Président Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana
01 BP 1319 Ouagadougou 01

 (+226) 67 56 96 96 / (+226) 25 49 79 54


 Avenue du Dr Kwamé N’Krumah
10 BP 13.701 Ouagadougou 10

 (+226) 50 32 84 01


 1242 Av. Dr Kwamé N'Krumah au secteur 2 de Ouagadougou
01 BP 6585 Ouagadougou 01

 (+226) 25 33 77 77



 (+226) 70 20 40 76


 248, Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, 01 BP 585 Ouagadougou 01

 (+226) 25 32 32 32  / (+226) 25 32 54 22


06 BP 10270 Ouagadougou 06 

(+226) 25 49 16 00



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At a Glance

At a Glance Source
Population in thousands (2019): 20,321.37
GDP per capita (current US$) 2019 - World Average 10,721.61: 11,435.61
Account (%) age 15+) - (2014 vs 2017): 14% | 43%
Agriculture Orientation Index - Credit ( Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries share of GDP) (2015 vs 2016): 0.06 (2015)
Financial Inclusion Strategies: • Stratégie nationale de la finance inclusive au Burkina Faso (in process) FR• La Stratégie régionale d’inclusion financière dans l’UEMOA (published 2016) FR
Domestic credit provided by financial sector (% of GDP) 2017: 34.07
Made or received digital payments in the past year (% age 15+) (2014 vs 2017): 8% | 39%
Remittances % of GDP for 2018: 0.0323
Mortgage Interest Rate / Mortgage Term (years): 6% | 15

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