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Burkina Faso Compact

The Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a five-year, $480.9 million compact in July 2008, designed to increase economic growth and reduce poverty by investing in four project areas:

  • agriculture;
  • land tenure;
  • roads; and
  • girls’ education.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked country bordering the Sahara Desert, was one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross national income per person of $670, when the compact with MCC was signed. Eighty percent of Burkina’s poor live in rural areas. These areas of the country are susceptible to external shocks including low rainfall, flooding, and desertification. Burkina Faso faced several severe constraints to economic growth including: high production costs, especially in water and agriculture; lack of secure property ownership or land-use rights; high costs in transporting goods to market; and limited human capacity due to low levels of education.

Compact investments targeted the poorest beneficiaries, 68 percent of whom earned less than $2 per day.  These investments were made with the understanding that the Government of Burkina Faso would undertake road maintenance, agriculture, water management and land tenure reforms during the compact to improve the country’s investment climate.  The Government of Burkina Faso met all of the compact’s policy and reform conditions precedent by the end of the compact in July 2014. More than 98 percent of the anticipated compact funds were disbursed to achieve the following goals:

  • improve land tenure security and land management, enhance the volume and value of agriculture production,
  • expand access to markets through investments in the road network, and
  • address primary school completion rates for girls.
The estimated direct benefits from the compact investments are projected to be lower than anticipated over the 20 year period for which MCC completes an analysis. This was due in part to difficulty in gathering reliable initial data concerning agricultural increases in zones connected by the roads investments. The Government of Burkina Faso and MCC expect more than 1.1 million people to benefit from the investments. Additional details of the compact results and impacts will be shared in forthcoming impact and performance evaluations.
  • Original Amount at Compact Signing:
  • Amount spent:
  • Signed:
    July 14, 2008
  • Entry Into Force:
    July 31, 2009
  • Closed:
    July 31, 2014

Project Results

Bright II Schools Project

  • $28,829,669
    Original Compact Project Amount
  • $28,829,669
    Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Bright II Schools Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At the time of signing 272,792 $1,900,000

Project Description

The BRIGHT program was designed to alleviate three major constraints to girls’ education: inadequate number of schools, school environments without proper facilities for girls and inadequate planning capacity within the Ministry of National Education and Literacy. The project, built on MCC’s 2005 threshold program, aimed to maintain girls’ participation in primary school by increasing access to girl-friendly school environments. The three-year project, run by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was completed in February 2013.

MCC invested in the construction or rehabilitation of 396 additional classrooms, 122 kindergarten buildings, 264 private latrines, and 17 water pumps. MCC funded more than 185,000 sacks of rice for take-home rations, and provided daily meals for over 15,000 students between 2009 and 2012. Literacy and microfinance trainings were organized for women and mothers in all 132 of the project communities.

Rural Land Governance Project

  • $59,934,615
    Original Compact Project Amount
  • $58,255,723
    Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Rural Land Governance Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At compact closure 52,200 $1,900,000

Project Description

MCC undertook the Rural Land Governance Project to address issues related to farmers in Burkina Faso lacking legal recognition of land rights on their farms, which inhibited economic growth and agricultural productivity in the nation.

Eighty percent of Burkina Faso’s residents live in rural areas of the country and make a living through agriculture, livestock and forestry, but lack the legal recognition of their right to work the land that make investment or improvement difficult. The lack of legal recognition of the land rights of agricultural workers discourages investment, provides fewer options for securing loans and opens the possibility of land conflicts. Land tenure conflicts are common and intensifying as a result of a growing population and increased competition over limited land-based resources.

The Rural Land Governance Project targeted these issues by providing support in three critical areas:

  • Legal and procedural change and communication;
  • Developing and building capacity with government institutions; and
  • Localized land tenure intervention.
The project contributed significantly to the adoption of the transformational 2009 Rural Land Law, the 2012 Agrarian and Land Reorganization Law, and 52 other decrees and regulations. These reforms established the framework for localized land governance, a more efficient approach to land conflict resolution, improved recognition of citizens’ rights to land and better land management. The project trained more than 8,700 local officials in 47 rural communes on participatory land-use management, land-service operations and conflict mediation in accordance with the new laws by the end of the compact. It incorporated 18,000 land parcels into the national registry, established more than 1,000 conflict mediation commissions in the villages of 47 rural communes and secured land rights for 4,793 households, businesses, and other entities. Although only 2,167 of the targeted 6,000 Rural Land Possession Certificates were approved by compact end, 13,000 applications were in process. The Government of Burkina Faso committed to funding the land administration offices and supporting delivery of certificates post-compact.

Delays in completion of the Dî perimeter development and approval of title and lease documents resulted in missing the target for the number of rural hectares to be formalized by compact end. Within 120 days following compact closure, titles and leases had been approved for 1,835 hectares, or 82 percent of the target. The Government of Burkina Faso committed to funding and completing the task of formalizing rural hectares post-compact.

Agriculture Development Project

  • $141,910,059
    Original Compact Project Amount
  • $140,420,941
    Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Agriculture Development Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At the time of signing 65,920 $-24,700,000

Project Description

The Agricultural Development Project was designed to expand the productive use of land in order to: increase the volume and value of agricultural production in project zones; increase rural incomes and employment; and enhance the competitiveness of the rural economies in the Sourou Valley and the Comoé Basin by addressing core agricultural constraints typical of rural Burkina Faso.

According to the World Food Programme, approximately 13 million of Burkina Faso’s 16.5 million people are food insecure, with limited or uncertain availability of an adequate and safe supply of food. Nearly one-third of the nation’s children are stunted, the condition of being seriously below normal height, due to a lack of proper nutrition. Irrigated cropland accounts for only 0.5 percent of the country’s total land area, and rain-fed agriculture often does not cover a family’s nutritional or income needs. Constraints to agriculture include poor availability and management of water resources, underperforming agricultural practices, and insufficient access to information, markets and credit.

The project constructed 2,240 hectares of irrigated farmland in the Dî perimeter and rehabilitated the Léry dam infrastructure, protecting investments in the Sourou Valley from catastrophic flooding. The project trained 7,830 farming households in improved production and farm management techniques, established 16 water user associations and trained 207 association executive officers. The project provided $2.8 million in medium-term loans to 96 small and medium-sized enterprises via the Access to Rural Finance Activity by the end of the compact.

Roads Project

  • $194,130,681
    Original Compact Project Amount
  • $193,891,856
    Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Roads Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At the time of signing 842,584 $-42,900,000

Project Description

Poor roads conditions have negative and overlapping consequences for residents of Burkina Faso, increasing travel time, making transit more dangerous, limiting producers’ access to markets and citizens’ access to social services.

Maintaining national road connectivity throughout the year remains the most significant challenge for transport in Burkina Faso. Road maintenance capacity presents another significant challenge for the limited resources of Burkina’s road transport sector. The Roads Project was designed to alleviate these constraints by:

  • paving three primary road segments typically isolated during long rainy seasons;
  • upgrading three lots of rural roads in the southwestern agricultural region, the Comoé Basin;
  • creating and implementing a 5-year national road maintenance plan and a 15-year master roads plan with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation, the Burkina Faso Road Fund and the national Public Works Agency; and
  • providing a one-for-one fund matching mechanism with the Government of Burkina Faso to reduce the country’s road maintenance backlog.
MCC funded the paving, upgrade or periodic maintenance of 525 kilometers of roads by the end of the compact. An additional 215 kilometers were completed two months later with assistance and oversight from the Government of Burkina Faso. MCC also invested in the development of a new road maintenance planning tool to facilitate future planning and continued management of the country’s 16,400-kilometer network, including new primary roads constructed with MCC funds.