Burkina Faso - Economic sectors

The relative sizes of the main sectors of the economy— agriculture, industry, and services—have barely changed

since independence in 1960. The industrial sector contracted during the period of Marxist control of the economy from 1983 to 1991, and the agriculture sector expanded as more people relied on subsistence agriculture to meet their day-to-day needs, but there has been a reversal of these trends in the past decade.

The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture to provide livelihoods for its population. Although the agriculture sector (including hunting, forestry, and fishing) provided only 26 percent of the GDP in 1998, it employed about 90 percent of the workforce. Industry (including mining, manufacturing, construction, and power) contributed 27 percent of the GDP in 1998 but occupied 2 percent of the workforce. Services contributed 47 percent of the GDP in 1998 and employed 6 percent of the population. The agriculture sector is much larger than those of most African nations, which on average generate 17 percent of GDP. Burkina Faso's industry and service sectors are smaller than average (in Africa they generally would produce 34 percent and 50 percent of GDP, respectively).

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