Social and Cultural Events

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in Western Africa, is well known for the hospitality of its people and its dynamic culture.  The country is called the African and international “cultural crossroads” due to the great number of cultural and artistic events organised there.

More than 4000 cultural events and festivals regularly take place in Burkina Faso, each of them being specific. These activities are organised annually or every two years by the State or the private sector.

The main cultural and artistic events in the country are among others:

  • The Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

Created in 1969 on the initiative of African film-makers, the FESPACO is a framework of films competitions accompanied with cultural activities (music and dance) and a shopping arcade. An International film and television market (MICA) and a forum led by specialists are held besides the festival. It is held each odd year in Ouagadougou, starting on the last Saturday of February. It lasts 8 days.

  •  The International Arts and Handicrafts Trade Show of Ouagadougou (SIAO)

The SIAO is the most important arts and crafts event in Africa. Created in 1988, it gathers every two years more than 3000 artists and craftsmen, 1000 professional visitors, collectors and art objects exporters. It is held every two years in the last week of October and it lasts 8 days.

  •  The National Culture Week (SNC)

Created in 1983, the National Culture Week (SNC) is a biennial event held in Bobo-Dioulasso. It is made up of competitions in the field of spectacle arts, visual arts, literature and gastronomy. A shopping arcade and cultural activities add to the feast atmosphere of the event. SNC is held every two years in the last week of March.

  •  SITHO, the International Tourism and Hotel Business Exhibition

The SITHO is an international event which displays the touristic resources of Burkina Faso and West African countries. It acts as an interface between the important travel companies from the North and African tourism specialists. The public is also welcomed to discover the tourist attractions and the stakeholders of the sector.

The event includes an exhibition, an African gastronomic fair, a cultural activities, excursions, conferences/discussions and promotional days of countries. During four days, this annual event offers a new approach in the promotion of incoming tourism. It is held on the SIAO site in Ouagadougou.

Tel. (226) 50 35 60 06        Fax (226) 50 35 60 54

Email: tourisme [at] cenatrin [dot] bf     Website: http://

  •  The International Theater Festival for Development (FITD)

The FITD focuses on forum theatre followed by workshops and various activities. It is organized by the Atelier-Théatre Burkinabe (An association of people working in the field of theatre) every two years in the middle of February. The festival takes place in Ouagadougou and lasts 10 days.

  •  The NAK (the Atypical Nights of Koudougou)

The NAK represents a huge international music show with concerts, handicrafts exhibition, professional meetings and various activities. The NAK are held in Koudougou in the last week of November every year and they lasts 6 days.     sud [dot] sud [at] fasonet [dot] bf        Tel: (226) 50 44 03 87

  •  The International Theater and Puppets Festival of Ouagadougou (FITMO)

Created in 1989, The International Theater and Puppets Festival of Ouagadougou is a work from the group “Troupe de la Fraternité”. It is organised every two years in the last week of October or November in Ouagadougou.    Tel: (226) 50 36 59 42

  •  The International Jazz Festival of Ouagadougou

The International Jazz Festival of Ouagadougou is made up of a series of jazz concerts with musicians coming from many countries. It is held in Ouagadougou in the last week of April every year and it lasts 8 days.

jazzouaga [at] yahoo [dot] fr       Tel: (226) 50 34 07 07

  •  The International Hip Hop Festival (Ouaga Hip Hop)

The International Hip Hop Festival is made up of Rap concerts, dance trainings and various activities. This annual event lasts 3 days and is held in the last week of November in Ouagadougou.

umaneculture [at] yahoo [dot] fr

  •  The International Tales Festival (YEELEN)

The International Tales Festival (YEELEN) comprises storytelling parties, professional meetings and various activities. It is held every year in Bobo-Dioulasso in the last week of December and lasts 12 days.    festival_yeelen [at] yahoo [dot] fr/Djelia [at] nomade [dot] fr

  •  The Camel, Arts and Music Festival in Sahel (FESTICHAMS)

FESTICHAMS is made up of an exhibition of camel, a parade of Sahelian hair and dress fashion accompanied with a fair displaying food products and a shopping arcade. It organised in Gorom-Gorom every year.

diemdioma [at] yahoo [dot] fr      Tel: (226) 40 46 93 71

  •  The Poni Museum days

The Poni Museum days are composed of an exhibition and a conference on the Poni Museum, various activities and a traditional market. They are biennial and are held in Gaoua.

tel. (226) 50 36 91 40

  •  The Festival of Masks and Arts (FESTIMA)

Organised for the first time in 1995, FESTIMA is a multi-ethnical festival that takes place every two years in Dédougou in March or April and it lasts 3 days. Masks of leaves and others consisting of bark decorated with straw veils offer a beautiful spectacle.

masing [at] cenatrin [dot] bf    Tel. (226) 50 33 25 81

  •  The Wrestling and Masks in San Villages (LUMASSAN)

LUMASSAN consists of traditional wrestling competitions along with an exhibition of masks and various other activities. It is annual and takes place in the second week of March during 3 days in Toma.

lumassan [at] zep [dot] fr  Tel. (226) 50 36 90 15

  • The Pouni Mask Festival

The Pouni Mask Festival is made up of a mask carnival, a market displaying local products and various activities. It is annual and is held in Pouni on the last Saturday of March. It lasts 2 days.

Tel. (226) 50 35 01 73

  • FECHIBA, the Barani Cultural Horse Festival

In Barani, a department located at 60 km from Nouna in the North-West of Burkina Faso, the annual horse festival is an ancestral practice of allegiance to the traditional chief of Fulani people. It is a demonstration of peaceful coexistence between the agro-pastoral populations bordering Mali and Burkina Faso.

  • The Ouahiyouya Sport and Culture Festival (FESCO)

FESCO offers a competition of music and liwaga dance, conferences, sports and various animations. It is biennial and is held in Ouahigouya.

etienneouedraogo [at] yahoo [dot] fr   Tel : (226) 40 55 41 85

  • The International Contemporary Dance Festival of Ouagadougou “Dialogues body”
    Dialogues body, whose first edition was held in 2000, is a framework for exchanges, meeting dancers, choreographers and all actors of contemporary dance in the sub-region through training sessions, a platform for the presentation of recent choreographic creations, choreographic meetings, films about dance and exhibitions.
    Choreographic Development Centre the mound
  • The International Traditional Medicine Show (SIRENA)

Created in 2000, the International Traditional Medicine Show (SIRENA) is specialised in bringing together traditional healers, producers, exporters and visitors concerned with health issues. It also fosters exchange of experiences between traditional healers, doctors and medical researchers and promotes traditional pharmacopoeias. It is held every even year and is open to all countries, medical structure or traditional pharmacopoeia and traditional healers.

Tel: (226) 50 30 03 99 / Fax (226) 50 33 03 99  E-mail: Burkina [at] prometra [dot] org

  • The International Engineering, Construction, Architecture and Building Fair (SICABAT)

SICABAT is a meeting of companies and societies who have an international expertise in the field of Architecture, Engineering, Construction and the Production of building materials.                 Tel: +226 74 30 30 01

  • The National Forum for Scientific Research and Technological Innovations (F.R.S.I.T.)

Started in 1994, this biennial activity brings together various national and international institutions for scientific exchanges and the review of their findings and innovations.          Tel: (226) 50 36 59 12 Email: dg [dot] cnrst [at] fasonet [dot] bf

  • The International Fair of Bobo-Dioulasso (FIBO)

Started in 2007, FIBO is an initiative that promotes the private sector by boosting the food industry. It is held every odd year in Bobo-Dioulasso, a town in Western Burkina Faso.

  • The West African Business Development Forum (Africallia)

International forum whose first edition was held in 2010, Africallia was created on the model of Futurallia and it aims at developing business partnerships between SMEs and SMIs. It is meant for companies willing to develop technological and business allies and wishing to strengthen their position in West Africa. Its objective is to help entrepreneurs to meet potential partners and to initiate discussions (through B to Bs) that will result in the development of international business partnerships in the form of financial, strategic or business alliances.

This forum involves various industries from such fields as medicine, arts, public works, energy, ICT, food, distribution, environment, textiles, etc.


  • The International Energy, Mining and Quarries Fair (SEMICA)

The first edition of SEMICA took place in 2012. It is open for Burkinabe and international companies specialised in the field of mining, quarrying and constructions. The exhibition is aimed at companies wishing to meet people from the sector and build commercial and technological partnerships.


  • The International Exhibition of Wildlife and induced resources “International Safari”

Initiated in 2012, “International safari” is a fair that aims at promoting ecotourism, fishing, hunting tourism and sustainable exploitation of non-timber forest products. It brings together producers, travel agencies, hunting dealers, organisations of fishermen, fish farmers, fishmongers, organisations, visitors, etc.

Participants display wildlife products, timber and non-timber forest products, fishery products, crafts, pharmacopeia, etc.

  • The Sculpture on Granite Symposium in Loango

It was first held in 1989.  Since then, several international symposia/ workshops on granite sculpture were held in Loango. Artists working granite for hosted in an artistic village near the site during their wok period.

  • The Tour du Faso

Burkina Faso is known for its huge number of “two wheels” (motorbikes, bicycles). Every house has at least one bike for various transportation needs. This abundance of cycles helped make popular cycling races held during most local events. The bicycle festival is characterised by the International cycling competition called “Tour du Faso”. This annual race that goes across the country follows a circuit determined by the organisers and it attracts competitors from neighbouring countries (Mali, Niger, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, etc. …) but also from distant countries (Belgium, Holland, France, Cameroon, Gabon, etc..). Various activities are organised at night on the sidelines of the event, giving a special note to the event.

  • The Boucle du Coton

Cotton is the most exported resource and the first source of revenue for Burkina Faso. To magnify this raw material, a cycling competition is held annually through the cotton areas. Competitors come from Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and other countries. Just as the Tour du Faso, this event combines competition and entertainment.

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