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Fabric of
Reform Cover The Fabric of Reform—An IMF Video

Video Synopsis


The Fabric of Reform examines the effects of economic reform in three African countries in the CFA franc zoneCameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali — all of which gained their independence from France in 1960. Interviews with entrepreneurs, government officials, economists, and average citizens help give the viewer insight into the economic gains brought about by reform as well as the challenges these countries continue to face.

Part One: A New Pattern

This segment highlights gains made in each of the three countries as a result of economic reforms. First, it shows how Côte d’Ivoire not only increased exports but improved rural incomes after it liberalized its trade policies. Next, it explains how fiscal reforms in Cameroon encouraged entrepreneurs to cultivate green beans for export on land abandoned by bankrupt coffee plantations. Finally, this segment explores how Mali’s increased grain production is a direct result of deregulation and liberalized trade policies, and how Malian villages are reinvesting their increased incomes in projects with long-lasting social and economic benefits, such as the medical center in Fana.
Cue at 3:57

Part Two: A Tighter Weave

This segment describes how general economic reforms have had a major — and primarily beneficial — impact on the economies of the three countries. It shows specifically how the elimination of price controls, privatization, trade liberalization, and especially the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc have helped these countries spur economic growth while keeping inflation under control. It also explains that although many citizens initially opposed the devaluation of the CFA franc, a majority have come to embrace it as being a necessary step to economic recovery.
Cue at 11:12

Part Three: Old Patterns — New Designs

This segment shows how economic reforms are challenging the three countries to do business in new ways. It explains, for example, how Mali is now manufacturing textiles domestically instead of exporting all its raw cotton, and how Cameroon is learning to balance the economic gains of logging against its detrimental impact on human and animal habitats. Overall, the segment illustrates how traditions can be adapted to a changing world if governments provide strong leadership, sound economic policies, greater openness, and a social safety net for those initially hard hit by reforms.
Cue at 18:05

Part Four: Tying the Threads

This segment summarizes how recent economic policies have set CFA franc zone countries on a path toward recovery. It cautions, however, that much remains to be done, including improving education and health care, strengthening democracy, and instituting greater credibility and openness in legal and regulatory systems.
Cue at 25:45