Republic of Upper Volta
République de Haute-Volta (French)
Motto: "Unité – Travail – Justice" (in French)
"Unity – Work – Justice"
Anthem: "Hymne National Voltaïque"
|Government||One-party presidential republic (1960-1966)|
Military dictatorship (1966-1984)
|Gérard Kango Ouédraogo|
|Historical era||Cold War|
|December 11, 1958|
|August 5, 1960|
|January 3, 1966|
|November 25, 1980|
|November 7, 1982|
|August 3, 1983|
|August 4, 1984|
|Today part of||Burkina Faso|
Part of a series on the
|History of Burkina Faso|
The Republic of Upper Volta (French: République de Haute-Volta), now Burkina Faso, was a landlocked West African country established on December 11, 1958, as a self-governing colony within the French Community. Before attaining autonomy it had been French Upper Volta and part of the French Union. On August 5, 1960, it attained full independence from France. On August 4, 1984, it changed its name to Burkina Faso.
The name Upper Volta indicated that the country contains the upper part of the Volta River. The colors of the national flag corresponded to the names of its three main tributaries -- the Black Volta, the White Volta, and the Red Volta.
Upper Volta obtained independence on August 5, 1960. The first president of the country, Maurice Yaméogo, is at the head of the Alliance for Democracy and the Federation / African Democratic Rally. The 1960 Constitution establishes the election by direct universal suffrage of the President and the National Assembly for a term of five years. Shortly after coming to power, Yaméogo banned all political parties other than the Alliance for Democracy.
Thomas Sankara came to power through a military coup d'état on August 4, 1983. After the coup, he formed the National Council for the Revolution (CNR), with himself as president. Under the direction of Sankara, the country changed its name on August 4, 1984, from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means "Land of Incorruptible People".
From 1958 to 1960, the Republic of Upper Volta was led by a High Commissioner:
From 1971 to 1987, the Republic of Upper Volta was led by a Prime Minister:
Fière Volta de mes aieux,
Nous te ferons et plus forte, et plus belle
Le travail de ton sol brûlant
Que Dieu te garde en sa bonté,
Proud Volta of my ancestors,
We will make you stronger and more beautiful
The work of your burning ground
May God keep you in his goodness,
This anthem has been replaced since 1984 by a new anthem, the Ditanyè.