Ouagadougou(redirected from Ouaga)
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the capital and chief political and cultural center of Upper Volta. Population, 250,000 (1975). Ouagadougou is situated on a plateau between the Volta Noire and Volta Blanche rivers, at an elevation of 300 m. The city has an arid subequatorial climate. The average January temperature is 24.4°C, and the average July temperature is 31.5°C. The average annual precipitation is 884 mm.
Ouagadougou, a highway junction and the terminus of a railroad line from Abidjan (Ivory Coast), has an international airport. The city has industrial enterprises for cotton ginning, rice polishing, and the processing of peanuts and shea kernels for oil, soap, and oil cake. There are three slaughterhouses, a bicycle assembly plant, and a footwear factory. The Center for Higher Education was founded in Ouagadougou in 1969 and designated a university in 1974; the university has a library housing more than 12,000 volumes. Other educational institutions include the Technical Center of Tropical Forests, the Voltaic Center for Scientific Research, which has a library with 3,500 volumes, and the Institute for Tropical Agronomical Research.
Ouagadougou was founded in the 15th century and until the late 19th century was the capital of one of the Mossi states. From 1919 to 1932 and from 1947 to 1960 it was the capital of the French possession of Haute-Volta. In August 1960 the city became the capital of the Republic of Upper Volta.
Ouagadougou, built according to a regular plan, is divided into two districts by the railroad. The southern district is the center of the main administrative and public buildings and commercial firms, while the northern section is mainly residential. In the southwestern part of Ouagadougou is found the U-shaped palace of the morho naba, which has two-story towers along its sides and an open terrace on the lower floor.