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Sankara social policy - sankara disappropriated the country economic elite who controlled most of the arable land and real estate at that time The fields were divided between subsistence farmers and in the cities social housing was constructed and He even declared the whole year of 1985 rent free and In the international sphere, Sankara aspired to a “second independence” from the former colonial master France He developed ties to the Soviet Union and Cuba which he admired for its domestic revolution and He despised development aid, conscious of its potential to lead to dependence and external domination and To make Burkina Faso independent from foreign loans, Sankara tried to create an industrial base for the dominantly agrarian Burkinabé economy and Civil servants were forced to wear locally made clothes during office hours to increase demand In a move untypical for many socialist presidents, he also supported private business, establishing special economic zones and improving the infrastructure of the country and The programmes paid off: four years after Sankara came to power and  Burkina Faso was practically self-sufficient in its demand for basic food stuff  and today the government has to import much of its food even in years with a good harvest Things like corruption, embezzlement, cronyism all that didn’t exist  and i have friend from burkina faso was told me “we could talk of an era of integrity And that was the pride of the Burkinabe Between 1983 and 1987, the death of Sankara we were proud when we were abroad and said we are Burkinabé and Sankara abolished many of the privileges of the oversized government bureaucracy Civil servants had to donate a month’s wage every year into a state fund In what must still be one of the most innovative and humble government policies of all times, he also sold off all extravagant official vehicles. In their places, the Renault 5, the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at the time, was made the official vehicle for all civil servants and government personnel including the president himself But Sankara was ahead of the times in other fields as well and His projects for environmental protection and his literacy and vaccination campaigns were highly innovative and mostly successful. He was especially engaged in promoting the rights of women, leading African countries in allowing them to join the army, banning female genital mutilation and putting women into top government and state-owned company positions and Today not much remains of these reforms and His revolution followed Sankara into and It is tempting to put the blame for this exclusively with those who profited from this development: the self-serving elite of the country and France which could re-establish its hegemonic power over Western Africa But the search for the culprit who condemned Burkina Faso experiment with an enlightened and progressive approach to economic and social development to failure wouldn’t be complete without implicating Thomas Sankara himself Sankara character like his revolution can only be judged in shades of grey not black or white and Thomas Sankara lived his revolution to the fullest extent possible When the following regime tried to implicate him in embezzlement of government funds to justify the coup, it was disappointed: Sankara assets at the time of his death consisted of an average house on which he was still paying off the mortgage, $350 in the bank and some bikes But at the same time he was a soldier to his soul. It was an army scholarship that allowed him to attend secondary school and He gained his first political experience during a visit to an officers school in Madagascar where he witnessed a socialist coup d’état Even as a president and he continued wearing uniform and his personal sidearm and today after Sankara a quarter of a century later Burkina Faso is at a crossroadsThe country is finished and without any perspective Despite its relative political stability it is still one of the ten least developed countries in the world (with most of the other nine having experienced internal conflict during the last 15 years) The president and his entourage have enriched themselves during a time of mass privatisations while the rest of the country stagnated They don’t seem to care and If the government doesn’t take care this will lead to an explosion agree that if this explosion happens it will likely come in 2015 the year of the next presidential election The constitution does not allow President Compaoré to stand for another term If he tries to change this or as many suspect tries to install his brother François there will be resistance The population has to mobilise to bring a bit of movement into the affair and to inject new breath into democracy Burkina needs a profound change If you talk to young Burkinabé about this change they mention the name of Thomas Sankara 25 years after his death he has become an idol to many who never experienced his rule personally Maybe his legacy will soon inspire the next revolution in Burkina Faso If so let’s hope that the revolutionaries of tomorrow also learn from his legacy

Sankara social policy - sankara disappropriated the country economic elite who controlled most of the arable land and real estate at that time The fields were divided between subsistence farmers and in the cities social housing was constructed and He even declared the whole year of 1985 rent free and In the international sphere, Sankara aspired to a “second independence” from the former colonial master France He developed ties to the Soviet Union and Cuba which he admired for its domestic revolution and He despised development aid, conscious of its potential to lead to dependence and external domination and To make Burkina Faso independent from foreign loans, Sankara tried to create an industrial base for the dominantly agrarian Burkinabé economy and Civil servants were forced to wear locally made clothes during office hours to increase demand In a move untypical for many socialist presidents, he also supported private business, establishing special economic zones and improving the infrastructure of the country and The programmes paid off: four years after Sankara came to power and  Burkina Faso was practically self-sufficient in its demand for basic food stuff  and today the government has to import much of its food even in years with a good harvest Things like corruption, embezzlement, cronyism all that didn’t exist  and i have friend from burkina faso was told me “we could talk of an era of integrity And that was the pride of the Burkinabe Between 1983 and 1987, the death of Sankara we were proud when we were abroad and said we are Burkinabé and Sankara abolished many of the privileges of the oversized government bureaucracy Civil servants had to donate a month’s wage every year into a state fund In what must still be one of the most innovative and humble government policies of all times, he also sold off all extravagant official vehicles. In their places, the Renault 5, the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at the time, was made the official vehicle for all civil servants and government personnel including the president himself But Sankara was ahead of the times in other fields as well and His projects for environmental protection and his literacy and vaccination campaigns were highly innovative and mostly successful. He was especially engaged in promoting the rights of women, leading African countries in allowing them to join the army, banning female genital mutilation and putting women into top government and state-owned company positions and Today not much remains of these reforms and His revolution followed Sankara into and It is tempting to put the blame for this exclusively with those who profited from this development: the self-serving elite of the country and France which could re-establish its hegemonic power over Western Africa But the search for the culprit who condemned Burkina Faso experiment with an enlightened and progressive approach to economic and social development to failure wouldn’t be complete without implicating Thomas Sankara himself Sankara character like his revolution can only be judged in shades of grey not black or white and Thomas Sankara lived his revolution to the fullest extent possible When the following regime tried to implicate him in embezzlement of government funds to justify the coup, it was disappointed: Sankara assets at the time of his death consisted of an average house on which he was still paying off the mortgage, $350 in the bank and some bikes But at the same time he was a soldier to his soul. It was an army scholarship that allowed him to attend secondary school and He gained his first political experience during a visit to an officers school in Madagascar where he witnessed a socialist coup d’état Even as a president and he continued wearing uniform and his personal sidearm and today after Sankara a quarter of a century later Burkina Faso is at a crossroadsThe country is finished and without any perspective Despite its relative political stability it is still one of the ten least developed countries in the world (with most of the other nine having experienced internal conflict during the last 15 years) The president and his entourage have enriched themselves during a time of mass privatisations while the rest of the country stagnated They don’t seem to care and If the government doesn’t take care this will lead to an explosion agree that if this explosion happens it will likely come in 2015 the year of the next presidential election The constitution does not allow President Compaoré to stand for another term If he tries to change this or as many suspect tries to install his brother François there will be resistance The population has to mobilise to bring a bit of movement into the affair and to inject new breath into democracy Burkina needs a profound change If you talk to young Burkinabé about this change they mention the name of Thomas Sankara 25 years after his death he has become an idol to many who never experienced his rule personally Maybe his legacy will soon inspire the next revolution in Burkina Faso If so let’s hope that the revolutionaries of tomorrow also learn from his legacy