Ouagadougou - Capital of Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou (or Ouaga for short) is not only the capital of Burkina Faso, it is undisputedly administrative, economic and cultural center. Unlike in Ghana, where besides Accra there is also Kumasi as another city of millions with great importance, here in Ouaga literally all the threads come together. This can already be made clear by looking at a map with the country's road network. The main roads all run towards the central Ouagadougou, which is clearly reminiscent of the situation in Paris in France. Of the pure numbers, the two capitals of Burkina and Ghana are very similar. The estimated population is about 2.5 million, with the inhabitants of Ouaga being spread over a slightly larger area. In my view, however, apart from the pure numbers, the similarities cease very quickly. Even if my personal comparison cannot be fair due to the very different length of stay, Ouaga seemed to me to be the much more relaxed city. The sheer size is not really noticeable to her and even the center seems rather cozy in contrast to the crowdandism and hustle and bustle in the Ghanaian counterpart.
Culturally, Ouaga also has a lot to offer. Striking buildings include the grand mosque in the city centre or the cathedral on Avenue Bassawarga. Important museums include the National Museum and the beautifully designed Museum of Music. The second, as the name suggests, is dedicated to traditional music and the appropriately used instruments of the different ethnic groups in the country. In addition to music, the film also plays a major role here. Every two years, the city hosts FESPACO, an important pan-African film and television festival.
Relatively young is the striking Ouaga 2000 district, which houses new administration buildings (such as the presidential palace or ministries), embassies and a congress centre. In addition, a new national monument was erected here with the Monument of the Martyrs.
In any case, Ouagadougou has a lot to offer and reminds me much more of a classic capital city than the very convoluted Accra. But with massive stately buildings in a country that is still economically quite poor, it is also a city of stark contrasts.