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What You Need To Know about Bobo Dioulasso

Bobo-Dioulasso is a city in Burkina Faso with a population of about 537,728 (as of 2012); it is the second largest city in the country, after Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. The name means “home of the Bobo-Dioula”; while it was likely coined by French colonists to reflect the languages of the two major groups in the population, it does not capture the complex identity and ethnicity of the location.

The local Bobo-speaking population (related to the Mande) refers to the city simply as Sia. There are two distinct dialects spoken of Jula, based on the origins of different peoples who speak this language. The city is situated in the southwest of the country, in the Houet Province, some 350 km (220 mi) from Ouagadougou. Bobo-Dioulasso is significant both economically (agricultural trade, textile industry) and culturally, as it is a major center of culture and music.

Population

537,728 (2012)

Area

Total: 136.78 km2 (52.81 sq mi)

Currency

West African CFA franc

The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

Climate

Classified by Köppen-Geiger system as tropical wet and dry (Aw). During its hottest months, its temperatures are slightly less hot than the more northern capital, Ouagadougou.

Education

The Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso is located in the city and in 2010/2011 it had around 2,600 students.

The École française André Malraux, a French international school, has maternelle (preschool) through collège served.

Transportation

The city has a railroad station along the Abidjan – Ouagadougou Railway. As of June 2014 Sitarail operated a passenger train along the line three times a week in each direction. As of August 2015 Bobo Dioulasso Airport had direct flights twice a week to both Abidjan and Ouagadougou. The city is an important road junction connecting all of Southwestern Burkina Faso with the capital, Ouagadougou, via the N-1 roadway.