Definition of Youth

The national youth policy of 2008 defines youth as those between 15 and 35, and recognizes their different needs. The definition corresponds with those of the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 20
  • 18
  • --

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Burkina Faso

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 47.56% Male (15-24) %
  • 43.24% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 21.53%Male %
  • 17.88% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 22.60% Male (13-15) %
  • 11.50% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Burkina Faso was adopted in 2008. A French summary is available online.

The national youth policy (2008) has the general objective to contribute to “the well-being of young people by making them actors and beneficiaries of national development.” Additionally, it seeks to build a sense of “citizenship and patriotism” among young people and to strengthen youth participation. The policy builds on the recognition of the rights of young people and sees them as active partners in the elaboration, implementation and evaluation of youth programs. The policy moreover mandates that young people must be involved in the policy through their associative movements and civil society, and the concerns of young people should be taken into account in budgets and programs of local communities. Burkina Faso has also ratified the African Youth Charter.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth, Professional Education and Employment is in charge of implementing the national youth policy. Thus, the ministry is responsible for the education, entertainment and the promotion of youth outside of school; regulation and monitoring of movements and youth organizations; integration of youth in national development processes; issues of training and employment of young people; as well as for the creation of forums of dialogue with young people.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
As reported on in 2005, the National Youth Council (CNJ), a consultative body of and for young people, was founded in 2004. It is a non-political platform for youth organisations and movements. The CNJ convenes regular meetings and consultations of youth, to support young people to participate in and “contribute to national development”, states the national youth policy (2008). According to the policy the CNJ acts as an interface between young people and the ministry responsible for youth. Moreover, it ensures the consideration of the concerns of young people.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the Budget Report for 2013, XOF 12.8 million (USD 26,816) was allocated to the Ministry of Youth, Professional Education and Employment. This translates to less than 4% of the overall budget. It is unclear what proportion of this amount was specifically for youth. According to the World Bank, Burkina Faso spent 18.02% of its government expenditure and 3.43% of its GDP on education provision in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From the national youth policy(2008). Original in French (own translation):
About 60% of the population is under 20 years. Their inclusion is essential in the search for solutions to the problems of education, training, employment and health of young people.
The National Youth Policy must allow through an iterative consultation to ensure that young people actively contribute to the formulation, implementation and the evaluation of policies, programs and action plans, as well as local economic and social development.
The large majority of Burkinian youth is faced with the problems of unemployment, underemployment and poverty. These are mainly related to the economic structure of the country and to the demographic pressure. In urban areas, 69.4% of the unemployed are in the age group from 15 to 34 years. In rural areas, 40% of the work force are underemployed. Moreover, many young have precarious jobs. Indeed, 64.7% of informal sector workers are under 25 years of age. In contrast, in the group of employees in the modern sector, the age of 25 represent a mere 8% of workers.