JICA has an ongoing history of cooperative projects in Burkina Faso. A short summary of the background of each area of work is provided and followed by representative JICA projects. The projects are categorized by type under the following labels:
TCP - technical cooperation project,
GP - grant aid project,
DS - development study,
SDP - specialist dispatch project,
SME - special medical equipment, and
GD - Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) group dispatch.
Many of Burkina Faso’s citizens are illeterate. The gross elementary school enrollment and adult literacy are lagging behind that of other sub-Saharan African countries. The government is therefore making basic education a top-level priority. Education opportunities are to be expanded and education quality improved, in addition to promoting informal literacy training and enhancing administrative capabilities in the field of education. JICA is assisting with the construction of both primary schools and training schools for primary school teachers to ensure an adequate number of qualified teachers and to bring a higher level of education in a better environment to more children.
Health statistics for Burkina Faso are among the worst in the world. According to UNICEF, the mortality rate of under-five children was 206 per thousand in 2006, and the rate of maternal mortality was 700 per one hundred thousand live births in 2005. Malaria is a major cause representing 46 percent of the morbidity and mortality rate among citizens, making it the worst of the infectious diseases afflicting Burkina Faso. To tackle this issue, JICA is dispatching Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer groups to distribute mosquito nets, and conduct malaria prevention and awareness activities.
At least 80 percent of Burkina Faso’s population lives in rural areas, and the majority lives below the poverty line. JICA is cooperating to improve life conditions in these areas by introducing better quality seeds to improve agricultural productivity, promoting inland aquaculture to diversify income sources and improve nutrition, and establishing a maintenance system for water supply facilities to improve access to safe water.
The north of Burkina Faso borders on the Sahel Belt and is losing forest area every year to desertification. JICA is therefore supporting reforestation through seedling production and cooperating to promote forest conservation through community-based sustainable forest management. The aim is to both alleviate poverty and preserve the environment.