Sunday, October 24, 2021

Facebook group wants to turn the tide on Burkina Faso’s image problems

Burkina Faso is making headlines for an Islamic insurgency that has created one of the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crises. But one man is showing what the country has to offer beyond conflict with a group called “Burkina Faso est Chic” (Burkina Faso is chic).

Tourists have become a rarity in Burkina Faso since the conflict began six years ago. The US State Department advises against all travel to the country due to the risk of terrorism, kidnapping and crime.

Ben Nombre, a local web developer, is doing what he can to change the image of the country and showcase the best the country has to offer.

Nombre says “Burkina Faso est chic” was an idea he came up with in 2019. when they began to notice the number of [terrorist] In the attacks he saw that the image of Burkina Faso was being tarnished. He explains that for a long time, Burkina Faso was a country that had a lot of tourists, many of them lost in recent years.

The Facebook page of “Burkina Faso est chick” has attracted nearly 24,000 followers. It posts regularly, highlighting a range of topics from lively nightspots to nature and wildlife.

The West African country has a rich equestrian heritage, but a local business that catered to tourists wanting to ride horses is struggling, says the owner, Siaka Gnaou.

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“It’s affected a lot, it’s been affected a lot since 2016. It’s like, you see, at one point in time it was full of people but since terrorism it’s affected a lot,” Gnanau said.

The government says that as the number of international tourists has declined, they are looking to assist businesses in the tourism industry.

“We had a lot of money coming from tourism, but we saw a substantial drop of more than 28% of that income,” says Burkina Faso’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism Elise Foniama Ilboudo Thiombiano. So a negative impact, at least initially. lay down.” He says that now there is a need to develop domestic tourism instead of foreign tourism.

Philip Yamogo, manager of Squash Time, a recently opened club that gives visitors a chance to play squash before drinks and dancing, says that when Nombre spoke about the club on “Burkina Faso est chick”. Posted one, it changed his business.

He says it sped up his business to the point where he was forced to turn people away on weekends. They are now in the process of expanding the building to accommodate more people as they were too overwhelmed. “I really take off my hat for Mr. Ben,” Yamogo says.

Even in the midst of the conflict, some aspects of Burkina Faso are still flourishing.

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