Burkina Faso is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. Switzerland and Burkina Faso maintain a modest level of economic cooperation.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Burkina Faso
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland recognised Burkina Faso as an independent state on 5 August 1960, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1961. Since then Switzerland and Burkina Faso have signed bilateral agreements relating to trade and the protection of investments, as well as technical cooperation and budgetary aid.
Economic exchange between Switzerland and Burkina Faso is modest in scope. In 2016, Switzerland imported agricultural products to the value of CHF 1.08 million. Exports to Burkina Faso amounted to CHF 5.33 million, comprising mainly agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and vehicles.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Basic education and vocational skills development is one of the focal points of Swiss development cooperation in Burkina Faso.
Scholars and artists from Burkina Faso can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Burkina Faso has been a priority country for Swiss development cooperation since 1976. Development programmes focus mainly on the poor regions in the northern, central and eastern parts of the country. The education programme covers the whole country operating through national funding mechanisms. The Global Programme Migration and Development of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation implements migration and mobility in Burkina Faso.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has provided Burkina Faso with budgetary aid and other economic support since 1994. In addition, the country receives humanitarian aid and food aid directly or via NGOs.
In 2016, Swiss Confederation funding for bilateral programmes totalled approximately CHF 31 million.
Development cooperation provides regular support for cultural activities.
Swiss nationals in Burkina Faso
According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad, 119 Swiss nationals were living in Burkina Faso at the end of 2016.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) as an independent state on 5 August 1960. Diplomatic relations were established in 1961. In 1970, a consular agency was opened in the capital Ouagadougou and was subsequently integrated in the Cooperation Office. This office for cooperation and consular affairs was opened in 1974.
In 1969, Switzerland and Burkina Faso signed an agreement relating to trade, investment protection and technical cooperation. Three further agreements on technical cooperation and budgetary aid were signed in 1978, 2006 and 2009.