Welcome to Ouahigouya, a vibrant town located in the northern region of Burkina Faso. As the capital of the Yatenga Province and the Ouahigouya Department, this bustling city is the fourth largest in the country with a population of 124,587 (2019). Situated 182 kilometres (113 mi) northwest of Ouagadougou, Ouahigouya is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
== History ==
Founded in 1757 as the capital of Yatenga, one of the Mossi Kingdoms, Ouahigouya still bears testimony to its role as the capital in its name, which means ‘come and prostrate yourselves’. However, the city has also faced its share of challenges. In the Christmas War of 1985, the city’s marketplace was bombed by Malian forces, resulting in the deaths of almost 100 people.
== Economy ==
Ouahigouya’s economy is mainly agriculturally based, with some commerce and craft industry. The two dams just north and west of the town permit it to pursue some vegetable planting aided by irrigation, such as tomatoes, carrots, onions, and mainly potatoes. However, the region and the city are heavily dependent on rainfall, and the populations’ well-being mostly depends on it. Millet and sorghum are the basis of the local diet, much like the surrounding regions. The small craft industry here is mainly focused on leather and tanneries. The little industry in the region is mostly geared towards gold prospecting and is carried out by a large company. In terms of commerce, the city takes advantage of its relative ease of access to the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, to buy manufactured products and resell them to the local economy. This is greatly facilitated by the asphalted road linking the two cities.
== Places of Interest ==
Ouahigouya has several places of interest that are worth visiting. Naaba Kango’s tomb is a must-see for history buffs, while the Yatenga Nabas compound offers a glimpse into the region’s traditional architecture. The artificial lake is a popular spot for picnics and relaxation.
== Geography ==
Ouahigouya has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) according to the Köppen-Geiger system.
== Sister Cities ==
Ouahigouya has one sister city: Decatur, United States.
== Conclusion ==
Ouahigouya may not be as well-known as some of Burkina Faso’s other cities, but it has a unique charm that is waiting to be discovered. From its rich history to its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, there is something for everyone in this hidden gem. So why not add Ouahigouya to your travel bucket list and experience all that this wonderful city has to offer?