It is a four year study (1991 January to 1994 December) on four hundred diabetic people in Ouagadougou, aiming to assess the complications observed in these patients. The search of these complications have been systematic during the first consultation and during the follow-up through clinical examination and complementary exams. Most of classic complications have been found and can be split in two groups: 1) acute complications which included: metabolic ones observed on 17.5% of the patients (ketoacidosis 5%, hypoglycemia 11.2% and hyperosmolar coma 1.2%); infectious complications observed on 79% of the patients. The high frequency of these complications testifies of the difficulties of the management, under-information and insufficient education of the patients; 2) degenerative chronic complications including: microangiopathy: retinopathy (15.8%) and nephropathy (24.8%) which was complicated by chronic uremia in 9% cases; macroangiopathy in which: gangrene (7.5%), hypertension (20%), cardiac disease (8.7%), neurologic complications (35%) were the most frequent. These chronic complications accentuate mortality and morbidity linked to diabetes and increase the economical and social cost of this affection in a poor environment.