Burkina Faso (formerly
Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated
military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty
elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise Compaore came to
power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. French
the official language, but native African languages are spoken by the
majority of the population.