History of the Kingdom of Banfora
The Kingdom of Banfora is in the west of the former Republic of Upper Volta
The Kingdom appeared after the revolution and subsequent collapse of the the old Republic of Upper Volta in 1985. The Kingdom was brought into being by 36th Emperor and his Mossi people followers in 1992. He, along with his direct family, had fled to Banfora in 1984 after the ruthless and destructive crackdown by former President Sankara in the old Republic.
It grew to prominence in the west over a period of 10 years and by late 1995 had become the largest of the city states in western former Republic.
It has been approached by the new Republic to re-unite with the rest of the former Republic, up until 2012 it has resisted these approaches as it has the highest quality farmland in the area and has a large quantity of trade relations with surrounding nations. The main point stopping re-unification however is the current political system of the new Republic, and the fact that it will not recognize the Emperor as a legitimate leader.
Climate and Geography of the Kingdom of Banfora
Since Doomsday and the following nuclear summers, the associated droughts in the 1980's have subsided in the main and the rainfall totals for the area have increased by 20-25% from average pre-DD levels.
The current climate of the Kingdom of Banfora is a typical tropical/monsoonal climate with a warm, wet season between May and September (with temperatures averaging 25 degree Celsius) and a hot, dry season between October and April (with an average temperature of 31 degrees Celsius). Rainfall totals average 900-1200mm per year, with higher rainfalls in the uplands in the west. The climate leads to the ecology of Banfora being a wet savanna type habitat, with more tropical rainforest type habitat in the south.
The Mouhoun River (or Black Volta River) flows through Banfora with the north/south flowing section forming a section of the Banfora/Republic of Upper Volta border the rest of the border is formed by a major tributary of the Mouhoun River, the Sourou River, to the Malian border.
The far west of the Kingdom of Banfora is based on a Pre-Cambrian sandstone massif, where the highest peak, Mount Ténakourou, is found at an elevation of 749 meters (2,457 ft). It is from this massif that the Mouhoun River rises. The massif is bordered by sheer cliffs up to 150 meters (492 ft) high down to a relatively flat plain running to the border with the Republic of Upper Volta.
Trade and Industry in the Kingdom of Banfora
The main industry of the Kingdom of Banfora is agriculture, both for food, in the form of the staples of cassava, yam, sweet potato and rice, and for other tradable crops such as cotton, cocoa and tobacco
There have been reports of possible gold and zinc deposits in the north and east of the country, although the Kingdom currently has no possibilities of mining those resources.
The main trading partners of the Kingdom of Banfora are members of the West African Union:
The Kingdom of Banfora is a member of the West African Union and has strong trade links with the other member nations:
It is also linked by trade routes to Mali in the north.
Although it has trade links with The Republic of Upper Volta relations have, in the past few years, have started to become strained due to the Republics policies and views of the Banforan Emperor.
Leadership of the Kingdom of Banfora
The highest number of an individual people or tribe in Banfora are of the Mossi peoples.
The highest position in Mossi society is that of the Emperor, who is given executive power. The Emperor's role is to rule the entire population and to protect the kingdom. Today, he lives in Banfora, where the previous (and 36th) Emperor relocated to shortly after the revolutions collapse.
Second to the Emperor come the nobles, or Nakomse. The Nakomse are all from the family of the Emperor, whether they be brothers, sisters, cousins, or otherwise. In fact, all dignitaries come from the Emperor's family. The Nakomse are often assigned territories in the kingdom as governorships and rule in the name of the Mogho Naaba. As in the past, the Emperor needs the support of his Nyon-nyonse (or gnon-gnon-sse) subjects to fully exercise his power. The Nyon-nyonse are the peoples who lived in Banfora-controlled regions before the foundation of the Kingdom of Banfora.
The 37th, and current, Emperor is called Karim Ouedraogo. He was born in 1981 in Ouagadougou, the former capital of the old Republic. He rose to the Emperorship after the death of his father (the 36th Emperor) in 2004. He married Madina Haoua in 2005 they have three children, a two sons, Ousseni (born 2007) and Oumar (born 2009) and a daughter, Leila (born 2011).
Unlike many monarchies where the throne passes to the eldest child, or eldest son, in the Banforan monarchy, the current Emperor can designate a male heir before death or abdication (it does not even have to be the Emperors son, it may be a brother, or even an uncle)
In 2007 the Emperor expressed his desire that when he decides that the Kingdom should become more democratic, as such he designated his 45 year old youngest Uncle, Mahamadi Ouedraogo, Prime Minister.
He asked the new PM to draw up plans for a government that was elected by the people, along with a relevant constitution. The constitution will be based on the former USA constitution as the Emperor believes some of the best leaders of the world in the past were US Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson.
The Constitution was published in 2010.
The Emperor and Prime Minister ratified the Constitution in 2011, and the Emperor decreed that elections to the House of Representatives and Senate should occur in 2012 the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom.
The Prime Minister announced the date of the election as the 22nd April 2012, the Emperors 31st Birthday.
The elections will be overseen by the West African Union Committee for Stable and Effective Government. This is in the hope of joining the West African Union in the future.
At the same time as announcing the new Prime Minister in 2007, the Emperor also decreed that education should be free to all children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, with the hopes of expanding to include 13-16 year olds by 2015, and that new schools should be set up throughout the nation. The first schools opened in 2009.
After the ratification of the Constitution in 2011 the division of the country into Provinces began.
By the 1st January 2012 all the new 14 Provinces had been decided on and new boundaries set up. Each Province has roughly the same population so that they can be equally represented.
Each Province can elect two Representatives to the House of Representatives (or Lower House) and two Senators to the Senate (or Upper House)
In total, the House of Representatives and Senate are made up of 28 members each.
The Prime Minister announced the date of the first Banforan election as the 22nd April 2012, the Emperors 31st Birthday.
First Democratic Elections
The first free election happened in Banfora on the 22nd April 2012, the results were announced on the 28th April 2012. The were overseen by officials from the WAU, who declared it free and fair.
The new government is made up of several ministers:
- Prime Minister - Mahamadi Ouedraogo, uncle of the current Emperor.
- Deputy Prime Minister - Abdoul Aziz Dieudonné
- Foreign Minister - Joseph Olivier
- Minister for Trade and Industry - Thierry Oumarou
- Minister for Agriculture - Harouna Ali
- Minister for Education - Sandrine Abdoulaye
- Minister of Health - Sylvie Alassane
- Minister for Defence - Karim Yacouba
- Chief Minister of the Treasury - Ibrahim Aziz