Burkina Faso belongs to the category of the world's poorest countries and is largely dependent on foreign donors for its economic development. The government, which has traditionally been the largest economic actor, has been actively promoting foreign investment and privatisation of state-owned companies for many years now. The country's economic performance has progressed in recent years, and currency and price stability have been widely achieved, attracting foreign investment, primarily in the mining sector.
Positive developments in relation to corruption and investment:
- The government, in an attempt to reduce opportunities for bribery and the use of facilitation payments, has set up Enterprise Registration Centres designed as one-stop shops for business registration. These centres have simplified registration formalities and eliminated obstacles related to opening a business.
- The bidding criteria for public procurement, established and enforced by the newly established Government Tenders Regulation Authority, are clear and the process is transparent.
- Burkina Faso is currently a 'Candidate country' wthin the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an internatinal organisation aimed at following due processes and achieving transparency in payments by extractive industries companies to governments and government-linked entities. The country is actively working towards gaining 'Compliant country' status by 25 April 2013.
Risks of corruption:
- Companies should note that public officials often demand facilitation payments in order to provide licences and services.
- The police and gendarmerie, customs officials, political groups, the judiciary, healthcare workers and tax collectors are the civil servants, who along with the media, most commonly engage in corruption.
- Despite that the government has taken steps to fully adopt regional and international legal anti-corruption frameworks, the lack of access to information, absence of whistle-blower legislation, and weak enforcement power of anti-corruption institutions are still regarded as severe impediments to the fight against corruption.