Formerly known as Upper Volta, Burkina Faso gained its name from combining Burkina meaning “free man” and Faso, “land.” Two well-known aspects of the country’s culture are masks and dancing. The masks are used in performing rites and rituals as part of worshipping their gods in the village. Different dances are used to show people that the spirits have blessed the village.
The economy of Burkina Faso relies mainly on agriculture with industry and services making up a smaller fraction of their productivity. A banking industry also plays a key role in enhancing the economic growth of the country. The industry is highly concentrated with only three banks holding 60% of its total financial sector. Although most of its citizens are yet to benefit from the gains made, good macroeconomic management with huge gold and cotton exports have ensured growth in the country at a rate of 5% over the last five years. Unfortunately, it does still have a relatively weak legal system, making it hard to protect personal property.