*Came to power in military coup in 2022
*Became World’s youngest President at 35
*Expelled French troops, diplomats, media
*Created Pan-African Federation with Mali (Guinea, Niger to join?)
*Urges African leaders to strife for self-sufficiency
*Seeks to end Africa’s Neo-colonial domination
*Banned Canadian mining firm for illegally exporting gold, zinc
*Hopes to launch Nuclear energy
*Came to power in military coup in 1983
*Became President at the age of 33
*Abolished country’s French-era name: Upper Volta
*Pan-Africanist and Marxist revolutionary
*Made Burkina Faso food-sufficient
*Opposed foreign ‘aid’ exploitation
*Banned government extravagance (no Mercedes, First class Travels, etc)
*Vaccinated 2.5 million kids, boosted literacy, planted 10 million trees.
Amid all the changes happening in the Sahel, one figure stands taller than many others – Burkina Faso’s leader, Ibrahim Traoré. His youth, his energy, his Pan-Africanism, his revolutionary zeal, his military fatigues and beret – all mark him out. But these attributes are strongly reminiscent of another charismatic Burkinabe leader – the man who gave the country its name under his revolutionary leadership, Captain Thomas Sankara.
We don’t know if Traoré also has a penchant for playing the electric guitar and composing national anthems like Sankara did, but in terms of political will and Pan-African vision and determination, he’s the re-embodiment. Alas, Sankara and his cause were betrayed when he was assassinated in 1987. Will Ibrahim Traoré be allowed to push ahead with his transformative policies for the region, like his federation with Mali and, it’s hoped, Niger and Guinea? Here’s a quick look at what the two captains have in common.