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Burkina Faso vs. Benin

Economy

Burkina FasoBenin
Economy - overviewBurkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base.

Cotton and gold are Burkina Faso’s key exports - gold has accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues. Burkina Faso’s economic growth and revenue depends largely on production levels and global prices for the two commodities. The Burkinabe economy experienced high levels of growth over the last few years, and the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports.

Burkina Faso experienced a number of public protests over the high cost of living, corruption, and other socioeconomic issues in 2013, while the fall of the COMPAORE government in 2014 and failed coup in September 2015 disrupted economic activity and strained government finances. A new three-year IMF program, approved in 2013, was recently completed. Discussions are currently underway on a new program. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges.
The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for three years, averaging about 5% annually since 2014, but its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity; high prices supported export earnings, but prices have fallen. Inflation had subsided, but probably accelerated in 2017.

During the first 6 months of President TALON’s administration, electrical supply, which has hampered Benin’s economic growth, increased and blackouts have been reduced. Private foreign direct investment is small, and foreign aid accounts for the majority of investment in infrastructure projects.

Benin’s 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture. Benin has appealed for international assistance to mitigate piracy against commercial shipping in its territory. Pilferage has significantly dropped as the Port of Cotonou is still making progress towards implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in an effort to remain competitive. Projects included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact (2006-11) were designed to increase investment and private sector activity by improving key institutional and physical infrastructure. The four projects focused on access to land, access to financial services, access to justice, and access to markets (including modernization of the port). The Port of Cotonou is the largest component of Benin’s economy with revenues projected to account for more than 40% of Benin’s national budget.

Realizing its economic potential requires further efforts to infrastructure upgrades, stemming corruption, and expanding access to foreign markets in Nigeria and neighboring landlocked countries. In September 2015, Benin signed a MCC second Compact for $375 million that is designed to strengthen the national utility service provider, attract private sector investment, fund infrastructure investments in electricity generation and distribution, and develop off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. In order to raise growth, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, encourage new information and communication technology, and establish Independent Power Producers (IPP). In April 2017, the IMF approved a three year $150.4 million Extended Credit Facility agreement to maintain debt sustainability and boost donor confidence.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$35.68 billion (2017 est.)
$33.54 billion (2016 est.)
$31.68 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$25.29 billion (2017 est.)
$23.99 billion (2016 est.)
$23.06 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate6.4% (2017 est.)
5.9% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
5.4% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,900 (2017 est.)
$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,700 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$2,200 (2017 est.)
$2,200 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 31.9%
industry: 22%
services: 46.1% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 25.6%
industry: 23.1%
services: 51.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line40.1% (2009 est.)
36.2% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29% (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.5% (2017 est.)
-0.2% (2016 est.)
2% (2017 est.)
-0.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force8.501 million
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2016 est.)
3.662 million (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate77% (2004)
1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index39.5 (2007)
48.2 (1994)
36.5 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $2.635 billion
expenditures: $3.332 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $1.372 billion
expenditures: $2.261 billion (2017 est.)
Industriescotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial production growth rate5.1% (2017 est.)
5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
cotton, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
Exports$2.797 billion (2017 est.)
$2.641 billion (2016 est.)
$1.76 billion (2017 est.)
$1.588 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold, cotton, livestock
cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
Exports - partnersSwitzerland 65.7%, India 6.3%, South Africa 5.2%, Singapore 4.6% (2016)
India 14.3%, Malaysia 12.2%, Bangladesh 9.5%, Belarus 7.4%, China 6.2%, Nigeria 6.1%, Niger 5.6% (2016)
Imports$2.923 billion (2017 est.)
$2.802 billion (2016 est.)
$2.448 billion (2017 est.)
$2.209 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partnersChina 12.2%, Cote dIvoire 8.2%, Japan 7.8%, France 7.1%, Netherlands 4.5%, Spain 4.2%, India 4.1%, Russia 4% (2016)
India 14.9%, Thailand 12.4%, France 10.1%, China 8.4%, Togo 7.3%, Netherlands 4.8%, Belgium 4.7% (2016)
Debt - external$3.075 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.716 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.476 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
56.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
50.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$45.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$50.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$60.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$57.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$947 million (2017 est.)
-$828 million (2016 est.)
-$822 million (2017 est.)
-$615 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$13.19 billion (2016 est.)
$9.41 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.3% (31 December 2015 )
Stock of domestic credit$3.804 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.205 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.822 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.661 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.606 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.274 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.182 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$4.904 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.228 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.958 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.609 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues20% of GDP (2017 est.)
14.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
-9.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 56.7%
government consumption: 26.2%
investment in fixed capital: 29.4%
investment in inventories: 2.4%
exports of goods and services: 20.9%
imports of goods and services: -35.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 69%
government consumption: 17%
investment in fixed capital: 26.5%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 27.1%
imports of goods and services: -39.6% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving9.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
5.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
20% of GDP (2017 est.)
17.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook