Formerly called Upper Volta, Burkina Faso was renamed in 1984 by President Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people" in Mossi and Dyula, the major native languages of the country. It is a landlocked nation of western Africa. Independence from France came in 1960. Governmental instability during the 1970s and 1980s was followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Several hundred-thousand farm workers migrate south every year to Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
The capital is Ouagadougou, referred to by locals, the Burkinabé, as "Waga".