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The real word on the street about Burkina Faso’s internet

January 7, 2015  »  City Profiles3 Comments

Last July we came across a great op-ed on news site Burkina24 about how Burkinab√© internet users really feel about internet access. Seven people (a mix of students and professionals) were briefly interviewed. The consensus is that the internet connection (in this case from ONATEL) is very unreliable. It’s unlikely much has changed in the past six months.

Their answers have been translated from French to English and are included below.

Darga Leon (student in electrical engineering)


The quality of the Internet connection in Burkina Faso is acceptable. My observation is that there are times when the connection is faster. But everyone can not stay awake until 3 or 4 am when the connection is somewhat accessible.

But even assuming that the level of services, we are told that we must wait while the connection is restored. I think we need to redouble efforts to improve the Internet connection. I use the Internet to do research work from a connection key or a cyber cafe.

Farida Tapsoba (student in economics)

Very slow”

The connection is very slow. I have access to the internet from WiFi. To download a video, it takes a long time, even to research, it’s complicated.

For example, the connection to France, when I want to download something on Youtube, it’s very fast compared to Burkina. Here it can take an hour for a 30-minute video, while there in 5 minutes, it’s done.

Theodore Kabore (student in electrical engineering)

There’s an improvement”

Frankly, in recent years, we must recognize that there is an improvement of the connection. With telephone networks, Internet access is facilitated. By cons, there are still a lot of improvements to make, especially in throughput.

Often for simple searches, it takes up to 1 hour of time. While at the present day, we can not afford to play with time. Within 5 minutes, we should be able to complete the research and to attend to something else.

Sanou Aicha (student in economics)

Hard to get broadband for an hour”

The connection ONATEL delivers us is not good. This is a network that balances a lot. I would say it is difficult to have a good broadband connection for one hour. Internet keys are also many things that swing.

It takes some time especially in the night when you are sure that many people are not connected. With the internet, I am researching the courses I do not understand in class and I also downloaded prayers.

Ivo Hanton (teacher in accounting)

The connection is not stable”

The connection is not stable. I can be working and the connection disappears. I use internet to prepare my classes that I will provide, I also do for the personal work but I rarely download.

The internet is in fact very difficult. Currently, I use the key to access and for the moment, it’s good.

Koutika Nerluck (student in electrical engineering )

In Congo, with 500 francs you can connect for a month”

On connecting from Burkina in general I really do not know much as I just arrived. But my first observation is that there is a transfer problem.

When I get in a cyber for example, just to open the Facebook page, it’s a problem, even with WiFi when trying to connect, it has huge problems. I am a Congolese but I was in Ghana for studies.

Congo is even better when compared with Burkina. With 3G, with 500 CFAF one can connect throughout the month. In Ghana, the connection is very stable.

Elodie Dabiré (manager of cyber)

We have problems with the ONATEL connection”

There are times when the connection is really slow. Most of the time, we have problems especially with the ONATEL connection. And every time we call, they say it is a technical problem and it can take two days before being restored.

In these situations, customers complain and they are perfectly right. At our level, we can do nothing except tell them it’s going to work out.

Probed P. Omar (civil engineer)

It’s really an obstacle course”

Currently, the internet connection in Burkina is very bad. With the onset of the rainy season, it’s really hard to connect. You can lose an hour to two hours, the connection balance every time.

Generally, I use the Internet for work, that is to say, send files to certain customers who need immediacy because it is not easy to move all the time.

It’s been two days that I did not connect with my connection key. And even when it works, it really is an obstacle course.

  • Michael

    So was the dictator ousted without social media?

  • Yes, social media played a relatively minor role with popular mobilization.

  • This will all change soon, real soon. Your going to have a high orbit Satellite just for the coverage of Africa. Then, the real fun begins