Burkina Faso in the interior of West Africa is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Community and thus as currency uses the CFA franc, the franc de la Communauté Financière d'Afrique. The land gained independence from France under the name of Upper Volta in 1960. In 1984 it changed its name into Burkina Faso, which means "the land of upright people." Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. Especially the recurring periods of drought cause a lot of suffering among the population that lives mainly from agriculture. That the French had an interest in the area at all was mainly due to the relatively high population – Upper Volta served as reservoir for forced laborers who were used on the plantations on the coast, and for soldiers who fought for France in the First and Second World War.