"The objective of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of the growth factors that have shaped growth in Burkina Faso since the early 1960s. The approach tries to tie together macro, micro, markets and institutional/ political factors to explain outcomes. Following a section that presents the major growth patterns and global factors explaining the observed patterns, we proceed as follows. In each of the subsequent sections representing a period with specific features for the economy, we use knowledge on agents’ behaviour, markets and political economy to understand the performance over the period. This is done in a “wrapping up” subsection in each of the period sections. Three periods are analysed for the Burkina case."