Burkina Faso

Graduating Country:
Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s National Green Economy Strategy serves as the backbone of the country’s green economy transition.


Burkina Faso has one of the lowest carbon emissions and ecological footprints in Sub-Saharan Africa, with GDP growth continuing to rise. However, it faces persistent challenges in the form of limited natural resources, high poverty levels and heavy reliance on agriculture.

In light of this, the Government has taken forward several initiatives, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable development – including the National Adaptation Plan, with climate change positioned as a high-ranking goal.

In 2014, PAGE was requested to support the development of a National Green Economy Strategy (SNEV) to serve as the backbone of the country’s green economy transition and contribute to the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES 2016-2020). Several macroeconomic and sectoral assessments were conducted to inform this Strategy, including the Green Economy Assessment that identified priority sectors for green investment.

PAGE work has since culminated in several achievements, including: adoption of the SNEV; sectoral and thematic reforms in green trade, green industry, green taxation and sustainable agriculture; establishment of a green economy master’s degree programme; and support to green entrepreneurs. In turn, this has contributed to the achievement of several SDGs, including SDGs 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 17.

The Sustainable Development Goals

PAGE milestones


Progress in 2019: A snapshot

Integrating green economy principles into national policies

The SNEV (National Green Economy Strategy) and Action Plan were officially adopted in July 2019, marking a major milestone in the country’s IGE transition. The strategy promotes the creation, development and consolidation of a critical mass of competitive, sustainable, value-adding industries and decent job providers, primarily in the transformation of local raw materials. A launch event for the SNEV is planned during the upcoming National Green Economy Academy in early 2020.

Supporting sustainable trade of non-timber forest products

The Action Plan for the Sustainable Management and Export of NTFP was validated during a national stakeholder workshop in April 2019, with more than 50 representatives from government, international NGOs, and NTFP producers, processors and distributors attending. A training on sustainable trade took place in October 2019, with 70 stakeholders from NTFP operators, NGOs and sector ministries dealing with trade, industry and research attending. The participants put in place a monitoring committee of ten persons to follow-up on priority activities.

Supporting green industry

The National Industrial Strategy and Action Plan were adopted on 8 April 2019 the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Handicraft, reflecting IGE principles, following PAGE support to develop a Green Industry Assessment and to develop the content of the strategy. Two dissemination workshops were supported by PAGE – the first in December 2018 in Ouagadougou and the second in Bobo Dioulasso in July 2019 - highlighting PAGE’s involvement in the development of the strategy.

Building institutional capacity to deliver training

During 2019, PAGE prepared agreements with the University of Ouagadougou II and the Ecole Nationale des Eaux et Fôrets (ENEF) to establish a master’s degree on green economy, as well as a professional training on IGE for staff of the agricultural sector in Burkina Faso. Following these agreements, PAGE has supported the introduction of a professional course on IGE and sustainable agriculture into the curricula of the ENEF, in collaboration with the Institut Universitaire de Formations Initiale et Continue (IUFIC). Next steps for the development of a master’s degree on Green Economy are currently being explored by UNITAR.

PAGE impact: 2014-2019 and beyond

Outcome 1: National Policymaking

PAGE has supported the integration of green economy at a policy level by supporting multi-stakeholder collaboration and knowledge development. Examples include:

Creating a shift to IGE at policy level

Adoption of the SNEV in 2019 marks a significant milestone in Burkina Faso’s transition to IGE. The SNEV contributes to the vision outlined in the PNDES, which states that Burking Faso will transform its economy to achieve strong and inclusive growth through sustainable consumption and production patterns. The strategy built on the macroeconomic and sectoral assessments supported by PAGE and involved over 90 stakeholders in the validation process. This work is aligned to SDGs 8, 12, 13 and 17, targets 8.5, 12.4, 13.2, 17.11 and 17.14 on achieving productive employment and decent work, achieving the environmentally sound management of all wastes, integrating climate change measures into national policies, promoting exports and enhancing policy coherence.

National coordination

Options are being evaluated regarding national coordination for forward going green economy work, including integration into an existing coordinating mechanism such as the Climate Change coordination Committee. This contributes to achieving SDG 17, target 17.14, by working to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development, and target 17.16, by supporting partnerships.

Outcome 2: Sectoral and Thematic Reform

PAGE has supported reform in a number of thematic and sectoral areas, including sustainable agriculture, sustainable trade and green industry.

Sustainable agriculture

Agriculture, which accounts for over 30 percent of GDP in Burkina Faso and employs over 90 percent of the labour force, has provided a clear entry point for green economy action. In 2018, PAGE launched discussions with the Permanent Secretariat for the Coordination of Sectoral Agricultural Policies in order to integrate green economy principles into the implementation of the second National Rural Sector Programme (PNSR 2), adopted early 2018. The programme implementation and mainstreaming of IGE have started, notably with a study on the impact of artisanal mining on sustainable agriculture to be launched in early 2020. This is aligned with SDG 2, target 2.4, by working to ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices.

Sustainable trade

The adoption of the Action Plan for the Sustainable Management and Export of NTFPs was directly informed by a PAGE supported study on green trade and NTFPs. The Action Plan will help to make trade of these products more sustainable, efficient and competitive as well as more profitable to the national economy. The adoption was followed by a training of stakeholders on Sustainable Trade in September 2019. Trainees came from the following institutions: ministries in charge of the Environment, Trade, Handicraft and Industry; small and medium enterprises in the NTPF sector; certification agencies; and representatives of the exports promotion agency (APEX). This work contributes to SDG 15, target 15.1, by promoting the sustainable use of forest areas, and SDG 17, target 17.11, by promoting increased exports from developing countries.

Green industry

PAGE supported the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Handicrafts in conducting a Green Industry Assessment and developing a National Industrial Strategy with a focus on greening Burkina Faso’s industry sector. To inform the content of the strategy, which was adopted in April 2019, PAGE supported the collection of baseline information on industries, presented various policy options and related trade-offs as well as short-term and long-term measures to enable the transition to green economy through industry. This work contributes to SDGs 9 and 17, targets 9.2 and 17.14, by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development.

Outcome 3: Strengthening Capacity

Burkina Faso took an institutional approach to training green entrepreneurs, as well as agricultural stakeholders through a train-the-trainer programme, run with local partners with a proven multiplier effect. PAGE support to individual and institutional capacity building is highlighted below:

Building institutional capacity

Several activities have been completed to build institutional capacity within learning institutions and businesses:

  • Assessing learning and development needs: PAGE supported the development of a Green Economy Learning Assessment in coordination with the Centre for Economic and Social Development of the University of Ouagadougou. A national action plan for green economy learning was developed based on this assessment and the SNEV. This action plan is focused on agriculture as a priority sector, targeting decision makers, professionals and learning institutions, in line with the PNDES and SNEV. It is also part of PAGE’s support for the implementation of PNSR 2. This contributes to SDG 4, target 4.7, by identifying priority learning needs.
  • Incorporating IGE into national curricula: PAGE partnered with the ENEF and the IUFIC to develop and implement a green economy course on sustainable agriculture, with the first training delivered in November 2019. In collaboration with a multi-stakeholder training review committee, PAGE has been working to ensure involvement of women in this and other capacity-building activities. This supports SDG 17, 17.16, by enhancing stakeholder partnerships and SDG 5, target 5.C, by promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
  • Fostering green entrepreneurship: Five trainers from the Maison de l’Entreprise who were trained on green entrepreneurship by PAGE in 2017 went on to train 20 coaches working with small- and medium-sized enterprises. Based on these achievements, an agreement was signed in May 2019 to coach 10 pilot enterprises to green their business. This activity supports SDG 8, target 8.5 on achieving both productive and decent employment for all.
Building individual capacity

Several trainings were delivered in 2019 supporting SDG 4, target 4.7 by ensuring all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development:

  • In July, 27 participants attended a train-the-trainer on IGE and sustainable agriculture to build capacity within the ENEF. These trainers went on to teach four of the modules to 50 public officials in November 2019;
  • In October 2019, a training of stakeholders in the NTPFP sector on sustainable trade took place with 75 participants;
  • In November 2019, a training of 48 rural staff on sustainable agriculture and the GE was held to build the capacity of managers from the Ministries of Agriculture, Water, Animal Resources and the Environment; and
  • Two trainings were delivered in December 2019 in Bobo Dioulasso and one in Ouagadougou with 80 participants from various ministries, building on the study on environmental fiscal reform carried out by PAGE in 2017.
Facilitating South-South cooperation

Burkina Faso has engaged most closely with Senegal, with representatives attending a train-the-trainer event to support green entrepreneurism. Further opportunities for South-South exchange with Senegal are being explored for early 2020, with government officials invited to attend a training in Senegal on green economy modelling. Following the 2019 Global Green Academy held in October in Turin, representatives from India have been in discussion with Burkina Faso regarding the availability of solar pumps.