Ouagadougou

Ouagadougou is the capital city of Burkina Faso in West Africa. Almost 1.5 million people live in Ouagadougou, making it Burkina Faso's largest city and its commercial capital. Ougadougou was founded in the mid 15th century by the Yonyonse tribe who named the area “Wogodogo,” meaning "where people get honor and respect". It soon became the capital of the Mossi Empire. When the French colonized what was then called French West Africa in the 1890's, (later Upper Volta and now Burkina Faso), they gave Wogodogo a French accent, and named the capital Ougadougou.
 
Today, Ouagadougou (commonly called Ouaga - pronounced wa-ga) is a sprawling city with a lively economy. The city is also a major cultural center and hosts the biennial FESPACO film festival. The heart of the city is focused around the Grand Marche, newly built since the last one burned to the ground in 2003. Ouagadougou is laid out in a grid-like pattern and is easy to navigate from the Place des Nations Unies (pictured above) where the city's 5 main roads converge.