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Ouagadougou, called Ouagà by the locals, is the capital of Burkina Faso, which in the native language means “You’re welcome here”, underlining the integrity and hospitality characterising the burkinabè people. The city is situated in the heart of the country, with a population of over a million inhabitants and extends over an area of 219 km2, but the town’s population is still growing rapidly, because many people are moving there from the surrounding villages. Ouagadougou is made up of five arrondissements, in turn subdivided into thirty sectors and seventeen villages.
First settled in the course of the eleventh century, in 1919 - when the French conquered the area - it changed its name from Kombemtinga to Ouagadougou. The latter is derived from a corruption of the word "Wogodogo" and reflects both French spelling and pronunciation. Ouagadougou has a very localized industry, the most important sectors of which are construction and iron and steel works. Agriculture, in particular horticulture, is concentrated on the banks of the three dams providing the city’s water supply. Ouagadougou’s great market, one of the biggest in Western Africa, is extremely noteworthy and so is SIAO, the biennial craftsmanship festival, considered by locals the most important of the entire African continent. Indeed, the city shows a great cultural impulse and every two years it hosts the renowned FESPACO, Pan-African Ouagadougou Cinema and Television Festival.
In spite of all the problems deriving from poverty and draught, the city is particularly conscientious regarding sustainable local development, to the point that it was awarded the “African clean city” Prize in 2004.
The City of Turin has undersigned an international cooperation agreement with the City of Ouagadougou on February 1st 2003 for various reasons which may be summarised in the following points: