Lesson 7) Burkinabe Ministry of Magic

The professor quickly made her way through the corridors and up to room 302B, a few portraits floating above her head. She could hear the bickering coming from the portraits and rolled her eyes. ‘Politicians...they never do shut up.’ When she arrived in the room, she quickly took down the portraits of African landscape and other famous individuals they had talked about previously. “Excuse you, what do you think you are doing?” The professor stood back a moment and looked at the painting that had spoken to him. “I’m only removing you for a class period, Keita, calm down.” The thousand-year-old man continued to protest, but the professor was unheeding and finished removing the paintings from the wall and putting the new ones up. Standing back to observe his work, she sighed at the looks she was getting from the paintings. “I know you all like to argue with one another, but it can wait one period. This isn’t the International Confederation of Wizards’ Conference.” As the students began to file in, the professor moved to the front of class and beamed to the students. 

Yes, yes, come on in and take your seats! Please ignore the muttering in the background, we’ll get to them later. Now, throughout your classes so far you have learned the basics of the British Ministry of Magic and how it is run. However, that is not the only wizarding government found within the world. Today we will be exploring the Burkinabe Ministry of Magic, it’s history and the different divisions found within. I would highly suggest you pull out your quills and paper so you can take good notes. Let’s begin!

 Burkinabe Ministry of Magic (BkMoM)

 You may be able to guess where this name originates from, but if you cannot, don’t despair! We’ve mentioned it many times throughout the year, but Ouagadougou, located in Burkina Faso, is one of the most magical cities within Africa. This being the case, it should come as no surprise that the governing body of the African wizarding communities would be located within this city. To clarify, Burkinabe is simply a term that refers to the people of Burkina Faso.

 Without further ado, let’s look into the structure of the Burkinabe Ministry of Magic! You may find that there are many resemblances to the British Ministry of Magic, but there are also stark contrasts that have come about because of the cultural differences between the two worlds. The BkMoM was established in 1794 after a number of incidents involving Muggle-wizard interactions and the secret of the wizarding world was close to being completely exposed. You may have heard that many within the wizarding community in Africa do not use wands, and you would be correct, we do not. Due to this practice, it is all too easy for an individual to abuse their magical powers, especially in the presence of Muggles. In 1793, a group of wizards began causing terror among their muggle counterparts in East Africa, leading to stories within the Muggle news of “The Devil’s Punishment.” These rogue wizards would destroy crops through fire, remaining unharmed themselves and taking no precaution to hide their actions from Muggles. You can imagine how the Muggles must have felt, watching fire appear from an individual's hand, burn around them, but have them come out unharmed. A group of wizards from the surrounding wizarding communities sent out individuals known as the Walinzi, or protectors of their villages, to stop the rogue wizards. Unfortunately for the Walinzi, this group grew and continued to terrorize Muggles believing that they ought to be worshiped as gods due to their superiority for hundreds of years. In 1974, their leader was caught in a Walinzi trap and killed, effectively ending their reign of terror. If you would like more information on this instance, feel free to visit me in my office, I could speak on it all day! Anyhow, once the threat had been neutralized, the Walinzi formed a pact with one another that they would protect their communities. This began the Walinzi Division (more well known as the Protection Division) and was the beginning of the BkMoM.  The division began to grow and by the middle of 1974, there were Walinzi Divisions for East, West, and Central Africa. With the increased number of divisions and coordination difficulties, a need arose for someone or something to help streamline the efforts of each division in order to efficiently protect the wizarding community. Thus, the Kiakiela Council was born.

 If you’ve gathered anything from this class, a pattern I hope you have begun to notice is that the people of Africa take great pride in the communities that they’ve built within villages and in communities. Due to this, the BkMoM reflects the community ideals and consists of one council, elected by the different wizarding communities. Though we’ve only spoken of a few, there are 13 total wizarding communities within Africa. Each community elects one individual to sit on the Kiakiela Council and who can remain for two years before elections occur again. The first order of business for the members of the council was to decide where the new Ministry of Magic would be located. This was not a difficult decision and the location was to be none other than Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. With the location in mind, the members of the council then selected the name the Burkinabe Ministry of Magic. At the time, there was only one department and one council within the BkMoM, however, it quickly grew and now we know of twelve different divisions, but I will only discuss ten as the last two are practically identical to their British counterparts.

BkMoM Divisions

 Walinzi Division (Protection)

 We have touched upon them briefly, but I thought it may be beneficial to dive deeper into the purpose and work these individuals do. Similar to what you call Aurors here in England, the Walinzi Division employees are more often known as protectors. Their responsibilities include sustaining peace within their respective communities, tracking criminals, responding to potential threats, and wiping Muggle minds should a magical accident occur. Within the division, there are subgroups based upon each individual wizarding community. You could consider them the magical police of sorts. As there are 13 communities, there are 13 squads, each with handpicked individuals. That’s enough of my blabbering though, I’ve brought Mr. Gosiro Sagvani, a Protector from Squad 7, which is associated with the Ivory Coast wizarding community. Please give his portrait your full attention.

 “Students! You know, it has been some time since I’ve been privileged to talk to students. As your professor pointed out, I am a Protector with Squad 7 and have pledged my life to ensuring those in the Ivory Coast are protected from all harms. Though our job has many aspects, my line of work focuses more upon the apprehension of criminals that plague our community. It may seem like an exciting life, but most of my day-to-day interactions are with those you would consider petty criminals and criminal acts...thieves and illegal breeding of magical creatures. Though it is not all boring! In fact, at this very moment, I am-”

 Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Sagvani, I’ll take it from here. The professor leaned toward the students and whispered. “He would talk all day if I let him.” Winking, she stood up before continuing.

Ng’ama Division (Discovery)

 Known for their excellence in discovery, the Ng’ama Division focuses on historical recoveries of artifacts, documents, and even ruins. Careers within this division typically include that of curse-breakers, magianthropologists, and magiarchaeologists. It is often from these individuals that we discover the remains of our magical ancestors that have led us to create the theories of magical beginnings that we discussed in Year One. Currently, this division is headed by Mr. Aba Mausia, a magianthropologist and good friend. Unfortunately, he could not be here today as he is studying Africa’s mysterious stone circles, a historical monument of sorts found all over southern Africa. Muggle archaeologists have been trying to decipher the code surrounding these artifacts for decades, but only recently have experts in the magianthropology field began to wonder if they had magical influence.

Some Muggle historians believe the circles are simply ancient cages of sorts, created by an ancient civilization in order to keep their flocks and herds safe. While this is a reasonable theory, magical historians disagree claiming that the shape and layout indicate something much more. The most recent magical theory is that the stones represent a calendar of sorts, though much more needs to be discovered before any conclusions are made.

Sanii Division (Inventions)

 Though looking into history is important, each country must have people looking into the future! The Sanii Division focuses more upon invention or creation of new spells or charmed objects. Considered the theorists of the BkMoM, these individuals often excel within the more scientific branches of magic, such as charms, astronomy, and transfiguration. One invention in particular changed the way Africa began to trade. If you’ll remember all the way back to Lesson Two when we discussed Habath Yugoz’s transportation invention, the railway was continued by Douba Kiedga, an expert in both charms and engineering.

 It was Kiedga who updated Yugoz’s previous tracks and expanded the trails, creating a pathway from coast to coast, which is now used to transport both magical goods and other items across the African continent. You may be wondering how something this large is kept a secret from Muggles and the answer lies with our friends in the Walinzi Division who ensure that any Muggle that sees through the numerous protection charms placed at certain areas along the route is obliviated.

Tibu Division  (Healing)

 I won’t go into much detail here as we’ve spoken about where the main healthcare for witches and wizards is in Africa, Yalgado Ouedraogo, located in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Primarily handled by the healers from the Mbikola tribes, there are other healing facilities throughout Africa, though they are not as capable of healing more serious problems. The Tibu division is not divided into sub-parts according to records, however, it goes without saying that there are groups of healers who focus on specific regions of Africa.

Tatizo Division (Analysis)

 The problem-solvers of Africa! These individuals work closely with the Walinzi Division, analyzing any substances or other pieces of evidence that may be found at a crime scene or on a criminal. Their talents do not end there. This division is divided into two departments, the Department of Unknown Substances and the Department of Historical Artifacts. While one focuses primarily upon substances delivered by the Walinzi Division, the DoHA focuses upon the restoration, age analysis, and authenticity of historical artifacts recovered by the Ng’ama Division. I’ve brought Miss Bera Limbey’s portrait with me today for her to give you some of the most recent updates in the DoUS!

 “Hello, hello, everyone! It is so good to see you all here and excited to learn about the BkMoM, specifically our department. You know, most of us here in the DoUS consider ourselves the backbone of African society as we come up with all the fun stuff! Although I don’t just sit in a laboratory all day and analyze what those Walis give us! One of the best parts about my job is the ability to take the unknown, make it known, and then experiment with it. You’ll find that a number of new potions, or adaptations to old potions comes from our department and are used in many other fields! In fact, we’ve recently created an alternative Wolfsbane Potion that when combined with an implant, removes the need to take the potion before every full moon! Imagine that!”

 Thank you Miss Limbey, for that enlightening information! Now, let’s move on as time does not wait for those who move slowly.

Sheria Division (Lawmaking)

 Not all protectors join the Walinzi Division, some make their way to the Sheria Division and move into a political realm. Included in all state political affairs, the members of this division create and uphold the laws passed by the Kiakiela Council. We briefly discussed the council above, but what I neglected above is the highest seat on the council, or the Kounia, head of the Council and Ministry of Magic. This individual holds the same rank as your Minister of Magic, though his or her responsibilities may be slightly different. The 14th member of the council, uprooting the unlucky number 13, the Kounia is there as more of a figurehead as the Council as a whole makes the decisions through a majority vote policy.

 This division has a number of sub-departments, including the Department of Written Legislature, the Department of Proposed Rules, and the Department of Regulations. Each type of legislature that is passed must move through three different stages. The first is that of being written. Anyone is free to submit a proposal for a regulation, but very few actually become law. After being written, the document moves to the DoPR, where it is given a specific number and released to the public for commenting. When this occurs, the documents are often delivered by owl to different wizarding villages and made available to all wizarding folk. Comments must be submitted by a certain date to be considered. Once this date has passed, the DoPR takes the comments into consideration and sends the proposed rule back to the DoWL, where it is revised and then given to the DoR. The individuals of the DoR read through the proposed rule and ensure that it does not negate or affect any other laws in effect before giving it to the Kiakiela Council to vote on. If it is voted into effect, the rule becomes law and is regulated by the DoR.

 The most recent law put into place by the council was on January 17, 2017. This law forbids farmers to use magical fertilizers on Muggle farms since the magic itself may harm the individual, similar to how Muggles are unable to consume potions. The DoR currently has over 20,000 regulations that are being enforced, but more continue to pour in everyday. Despite the large numbers, it is extremely difficult for a proposed rule to become a law and must pass two criteria. The first is that the rule is relevant. The second criteria is that the rule must somehow benefit society or make it safer in some way. Though there are other less important criteria, we do not have time to discuss them. Moving on!

 Kimataifa Division (International Affairs)

 Ah, the International Division, perhaps my favorite of all divisions within the BkMoM! Members of the Kimataifa Division are well known for their charm and charisma, being trained on how to handle international emergencies. Though their primary job is to ensure peace with the other ministries around the world, they also have a hand in protecting the African wizarding world. During the First and Second Wizarding Wars, it was this division that suggested the BkMoM cut off all ties from their British colleagues in order to protect Africa’s magical communities from Grindelwald. The world of international affairs encompasses so much more, but their other main focus is on international trade. Working diligently with the Department of Commerce (which we will learn about a little later) they regulate international trading and foreign travels across country lines.

Foreign travel into Africa has only recently opened back up in the year 2000 due to fears of Voldemort's followers inciting violence after his destruction in 1998. However, after two years of assurances by Kingsley Shacklebolt, the British Minister of Magic, and a lack of violence related to his followers, Africa reopened its borders and welcomed visitors from other parts of the world. If you do ever decide to travel to Africa, however, be warned they have strict policies regarding wand and magic usage within their communities. Despite their love of community, the people of Africa fear what they do not know.

Vyumbe Division (Creatures)

 Perhaps the most similar division to your very own Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, the BkMoM Vyumbe Division also classifies creatures into the three categories you are all familiar with: beasts, beings, and spirits. Despite the similar categorization, the danger rating is extremely different and is based on a ten point system. For beings, the system acts on a disciplinary level. There are certain rules that these beings are asked to follow (considering they are sentient and can do so). Once the proposed rules are agreed upon by both parties, then they are expected to be upheld. Every being group begins with five points, considering them neutral. Any disregard of the rules earns an extra point and harsh discipline. Adherence to the agreed rules for three months leads to a removal of a point. To give you an example of how this system works, centaurs in Africa are currently classified as having only two points, indicating that they are usually friendly creatures if not provoked.

Beasts are classified differently as we cannot coordinate on rules that both will adhere to. Therefore, there is a group of researchers within this division who conduct field experiments every four months to determine how many points to give a beast. Spirits are usually approached in a similar manner to that of a being if possible, but those that cannot be reasoned with are given a certain number of points based on observations.

 Within recent years, this research group has requested that several forests near Bohicon in Africa be made unplottable to give the Runespoor room to grow and live. Their length along with distinct black and orange coloring makes them easy to spot and their three heads are difficult to explain to Muggles. Within the point system of the BkMoM, the Runespoor has nine points, indicating that it is extremely dangerous and should never be approached by an untrained witch or wizard, similar to its XXXX classification in the British Ministry of Magic.

 Elimu Division (Education)

 One of the smaller departments within the BkMoM, the Elimu Division works with the primary wizarding school in Africa, Uagadou. Though other magical schools have come and gone with time, it is only Uagadou that has stood the test of time. The Elimu Division ensures that students are taking the most relevant courses and prepared to face the real world. Although they do not participate in the schooling of students themselves, it is not unheard of for the Elimu Division to create course guidelines for professors to follow at the school. However, in recent years there has been pushback from those teaching at Uagadou that the restrictions set by the BkMoM prevent them from adequately teaching the students everything they need to know. Within the past year, the Elimu Division has been actively searching for a solution, but a compromise has yet to be found.

Mchezo Division (Games)

 It might come as a surprise to you that the main magical sport in Africa is Quidditch! There are a total of four regional Quidditch teams and even more unofficial Quidditch teams. The Mchezo organize the regional competitions and keep track of the unofficial Quidditch teams as well, often setting up tournaments for all players. Africa quickly became well-known for their Quidditch leagues and was approached by the British Ministry of Magic in 1983 with a proposition to assist in creating, handling, and officiating the Quidditch World Cup. The Mchezo quickly agreed and have become a significant player in most global games. However, they did not approve of all wizarding competitions. Despite having been established in 1294 and having revised rules in 1994, the Burkinabe Ministry of Magic has never supported the Triwizard Tournament. I’ve brought the current head of the Mchezo to speak to you about this matter, so please give him your full attention.

An older gentleman grumbled from his portrait about being forbidden to discuss Quidditch before addressing the students. “My name is Jasan Ciko and I am currently the Head of the Mchezo Division at the BkMoM. Our responsibilities range from writing regulations that all wizarding games must abide by, assisting in the creation and officiation of the Quidditch World Cup, and taking care of magical game accidents that affect Muggles. As your professor mentioned earlier, we have never been a supporter of that blasted Triwizard Tournament. People get themselves killed in that bloody game, you know! Here in the Mchezo Division, we believe that individuals can express their talents through other magical competitions that we ensure are safe for our competitors. Take Quidditch for example! In Africa-”

 “I’ll take it from here, Mr. Ciko.” The professor chuckled...

He was about to give you the entire history of African Quidditch, but I will quickly sum up the most famous teams from Africa and the maneuvers that they are known for. The Gimbi Giant-Slayers, a regional team from Ethiopia, is known for winning the All-African Cup twice, the trophy from a Quidditch tournament which involves only African teams, including regional and community teams. The Sumbawanga Sunrays are a regional team from Tanzania known across the world for their spectacular looping formations, some of the most complex seen throughout the world. We also have the Tchamba Charmers, a regional team from the Togo region who excel in the reverse pass, where a chaser throws the quaffle over his shoulder to another player. It’s considered a very difficult maneuver to perform accurately, but the Tchamba Chasers have mastered the art! Finally, we have the Patonga Proudsticks, known for their draw with the 32-time League Cup winners, the Montrose Magpies. They only team from Uganda, the Patonga Proudsticks have the highest number of athletes from one team who competed in the Quidditch World Cup.

The final two divisions within the BkMoM are the Usafiri Division and Fedha Division. The Usafiri Division focuses primarily on transportation within Africa, using transportation methods that are identical across the wizarding world such as apparition and portkey travel among other things. This division works closely with the Kimataifa Division to regulate international travels as well. The Fedha Division works closely with Gringotts, the only bank in the wizarding world. Witches and Wizards who wish to make deposits or withdrawals must go through the Fedha Division to do so.

 Good gracious is that the time already? I’m sorry to keep you slightly over, but we had much to cover. If you have any questions regarding the BkMoM, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss the information further. I shall see you next class, now shoo!


Original lesson written by Professor Samuel Becker
Image credits here, here, here, and here


Join us as we continue our journey, exploring the various magical histories and cultures across the world! In Year Five of History of Magic, we will dive into the rich magical culture of Africa, most of which has been kept secret for many years. We will be exploring the Ancient Kingdoms, Wizarding Communities, learn about the horrors of the African slave trade in addition to the schools and government of Africa. I look forward to traveling alongside you this term!
Course Prerequisites:
  • HOM-401

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