“For a long time, Koudougou was considered Burkina Faso’s main textile city, a reputation established by the presence of one factory: Faso Fani, which means “the country’s pagne”
(a colourful sheet of cotton textile widely worn in West Africa).
The whole city would rise in the morning to Faso Fani’s siren.
I was born and grew up in this city, and the factory played a central role in my childhood.
Faso Fani was the nation’s project and a strong sign of its independence.
The factory was a gamble that soon proved its worth: the pagnes produced were of a very high quality and their reputation spread far beyond the borders of Burkina. It was the pride of our city.
However, in 2001, following several restructuring plans imposed by the IMF and the World Bank, the factory shut down and hundreds of employees suddenly found themselves jobless.
Over ten years later, I set out to meet the ex-employees of Faso Fani and reveal the disastrous consequences of global economic policies that are blind to local realities – specifically those of Koudougou. Along the way I also meet the textile workers who are tirelessly working away producing their own home-made pagnes.
Together, we dream of the day when we will witness the revival of the cotton industry in our city. And in our country. “
Michel K. Zongo