A landlocked Western African country, Burkina Faso occupies a plateau that is characterized by a savannah which gives way to sparse forests. The country, which was formerly colonized by France (with French remaining the official language), has a religiously and ethnically diverse population. With a largely agricultural economy, it also faces many important challenges on its path towards further development. Limited natural resources and high poverty are two of the most salient, with 40 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Additionally, threats from violent extremism and climate change, the latter of which has disrupted food production, are of pressing concern.