Burkina Faso - Industry



Industry accounted for about 28% of Burkina's GDP in 2000, yet employed only 2% of the population. The principal centers for economic activity are Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouagadougou, Banfora, and Koudougou, cities on the rail line to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Burkinabe industry reflects an interesting diversity, but is dominated by unprofitable state-controlled corporations. Important sectors are food processing, textiles, and leather, although small-scale operations manufacture cigarettes, bricks, and light metal goods such as beds and agricultural implements. Other enterprises are a brewery and moped and bicycle assembly plants. Cotton production (cotton is Burkina Faso's main export) reached record levels in 1999, reaching 419,000 tons, marking the fifth consecutive year of strong growth in the sector. Gold production (gold is the country's second largest export) has increased markedly in recent years. Efforts were underway in 2003 to develop a shea butter industry in Burkina Faso: shea butter is used as a skin moisturizer and as a substitute for cocoa butter in the production of chocolate. Of 42 state enterprises selected for sale, 21 were divested by 1999. Shell, Elf Oil, Mobil Oil, and Texaco operate in Burkina Faso; the country has no hydrocarbon resources. Sonabel (Société Nationale Burkinabe d'Electricité) is the state-owned utility supplying electricity to the country. Burkina Faso has undeveloped phosphate resources and manganese deposits.

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