The SEMAFO Foundation helps West African communities, specifically in locations where SEMAFO Inc. or one of its subsidiaries is present. The Foundation offers its services primarily to cities and towns within the operation’s permit area, but through time, it has expanded its territory to support towns and villages on the outskirts of the permit areas or to the whole country depending on the projects’ needs.
The needs of West African countries are great. People suffer from malnutrition, lack of drinking water, have little education, often do not read or write and many revert to begging in order to survive. Girls are more vulnerable because they are often forced to marry very young, have no access to basic education and are often subjected to excision.

* The population is predominantly rural;
* The dominant economic activities are agriculture and livestock;
* Regions are poorer than the rest of the country;
* Natural resources are present but underutilized;
* School enrollment and literacy are low and below national averages, particularly for Burkina Faso;
* Birth rates are very high;
* Very low level of electrification.

Note also that diseases contribute significantly to perpetuating underdevelopment. The most devastating tropical diseases are present in these countries, particularly malaria, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, yellow fever, dengue fever, schistosomiasis, and meningococcal meningitis. In addition, the HIV / AIDS virus also claims thousands of lives every year in these countries.


Burkina Faso (country of honest men), formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta, borders with Ghana, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast. Its area is about a quarter of that of Ontario. The climate is tropical: hot and humid in summer and dry in winter. The country often suffers lengthy droughts that greatly affect the crops and distribution of the population. In the most recent UNDP report on sustainable human development, Burkina Faso ranked 185 out of 188 countries covered by the ranking (January 2016).


Burkina Faso Canada
Population 20 107 509 35,623,680
Surface Area (km2) 274,200 9,984,670
GDP per capita ($US) 1,900 48,300
Median age 17.3 42.2
Literacy rate (men) 36% 99%
Literacy rate (women) 29.3% 99%
Life expectancy at birth (yrs) 55.9 81.9
Sources: The World Fact Book, 2018, CIA; Rapport sur le Développement Humain, 2015, PNUD

* 90% of the population are engaged in subsistence agriculture (2017)
* 68.5% of households live in rural areas (2017)
* 3% population growth (2017)
* 40.1% of the population live under the poverty line (2009)
* 24.2% of the rural population have no access to safe drinking water (2015)
* 93.3% of the rural population have no access to washrooms/toilets (2015)


The different regions

Burkina Faso is divided into 13 administrative regions that include 45 provinces. Our area of operation mainly encompasses the region of Boucle du Mouhoun and the Est region. A total of 134 villages enjoy the support of the Foundation.


2 RegionsTousWEB ang

Region : Mouhoun

The Mouhoun region has a population of 1,821,059 inhabitants (2015), covers an area of 34,333 square kilometers and its capital is Dédougou. The Mana Mine site is located in the provinces of Mouhoun and Balé.

According to an analysis by the National Institute of Statistics and Demography (NISD), the Mouhoun Region is one of the poorest of the 13 regions in Burkina Faso (2010). It is the main cotton-growing region in the country, and agriculture constitutes the bulk of its income, and 77,32% (2014) of its households live in rural areas. The average household consists of 7.2 people, which is the highest average in the country. Although the area has the highest annual precipitation of the country, 42.6% of the population lack access to clean water. The literacy rate of the 15 years old and over, in the region is 32.2% (2014), which is below the national average of 46.9% (2014).


Here are several social indicators that underscore the deprivation of the Mouhoun region:
• 52.6% of households live in earthen styled housing (2014);
• 89.7% of households live in dwellings with earthen walls (2014);
• 36.4% of households have to travel more than 30 minutes to get to the nearest health service (2007);
• 56% of households live below the poverty line (2009);
• 56.5% of farm machinery available to farmers are archaic or highly inefficient (2005);
• 67.8% of the population over 15 years old are uneducated (2014);
• 7.7% of the population are connected to the electricity grid (2014);
• 51.8% of households use nature as their lavatory (2014).

The Mouhoun province has a population of 319,249 inhabitants (2009) and covers an area of 6,668 square kilometers. We help the people of the towns and villages around the mine site that are located in the districts of Bondoukuy, Dédougou, Kona, Ouarkoye and Safané.

The province of Balé has 243,059 inhabitants (2011), covers an area of 4,595 square kilometers, and has a capital town of Boromo. We support seven of its districts, namely, Bagassi, Bana, Boromo, Oury, Pompoï, Poura, Siby and Yaho.

There has been a significant improvement in living conditions in the Boucle du Mouhoun since the most recent statistical data was issued in 2008. It is in a better position than the eastern region where the Foundation only initiated operations in 2015.


Region : East

3 RegionEst

The Est region is populated by 1,647,056 people (2014: according to the ’Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie (INSD)), and accounts for 8.7% of the total population of Burkina Faso. Its population density of 33.5 people per square kilometer makes it one of the most sparsely populated regions. It covers an area of 46,694 square kilometers and has a capital town named Fada N’Gourma. The Boungou mine site is located in the commune of Partiaga, in the province of Tapoa.

According to a 2014 analysis by INSD, the eastern region posts the highest unemployment rate – 36.8%. Young people between 15 and 34 years old have very low literacy rates- 32.3 %- compared to the national average of 49.9%. In addition, the eastern region’s primary school attendance rate of 32.7% is the second-lowest nationally.

Here are several social indicators that highlight the deprivation of the Est region:

*65.6% of households have unstable roofing on their home;
*94.2% of households live in dwellings with earthen walls (2014);
*76.2% of population over 15 years old are uneducated (2014);
*4.3% of households are connected to the electricity grid (2014);
*81.5% of households use nature as their lavatory (2014);
*31.6% of households do not have access to drinking water (2014).

The province of Tapoa has 341,782 inhabitants (2006) and covers an area of 14,594 km2. We provide assistance to the population of the towns and villages surrounding the mine site that are located in the district of Partiaga.

Villages where the SEMAFO Foundation is involved:

Maps of the 155 villages.

Boucle du Mouhoun region

Villages_Secteur Mouhoun2016mod

Est region


Source :
Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook (CIA)
Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie du Burkina Faso (INSD)



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