OuagadougouOuagadougou (or Wagadugu, population 960,116 (2000)) is the capital of Burkina Faso. It is the country's largest city and communications, cultural and economic centre as well as the administrative centre.
The city is roughly in the centre of the country (12.4° N 1.5° W). The city has only limited industry, mainly in food processing and textiles. There is a international airport, a rail link to Abidjan in the Côte d'Ivoire, and road links with Niamey, Niger. The University of Ouagadougou, founded in 1974 (or 1969), was the country's first institution of higher education. The city has few modern buildings, excepting the headquarters of the West African Central Bank, and the old Central Mosque remains one of the tallest and most significant buildings. The city hosts the annual FESPACO African film festival and is the site of one of the largest markets in West Africa. Other significant structures include the Moro-Naba Palace.
Ouagadougou was a state founded in the 11th century, the central settlement was called Kombemtinga, it became capital of the Mossi empire in 1441. The state grouped with three others into French colony of Upper Volta (Haute Volta) in 1919 with Komemtinga, renamed Ouagadougou, as the capital following on the French capture of the area in 1896. Ouagadougou became the capital city of the independent Republic of Upper Volta in 1960, renamed Burkina Faso in 1984.