IntroductionThe resourceful Burkinabe, as the people of Burkina Faso are known, have made the most of what little nature has given them. In fact, they have made sure that their poor, dusty country in Western Africa does not remain in obscurity, far from the beaten track. In odd-numbered years, Ouagadougou, the capital, stages one of Africa's leading cultural events: FESPACO, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival. During the event, this pleasant, rapidly developing city is filled with filmmakers and fans who pack the city's cinemas to see Africa's best films. In even-numbered years, the city hosts the continent's largest crafts market: the SIAO (Ouagadougou's International Crafts Show), which draws hundreds of artisans and more than 100,000 visitors from around the world. In between big events, Burkina Faso returns to the quieter day-to-day culture of local markets and clubs, as well as the problems of a resource-poor, landlocked country on the edge of the Sahara.
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