That’s Africa baby

We were waiting in a Newmont conference room on site at the Ahafo mine. On the agenda: a briefing from Newmont's General Manager in Ahafo Jay Bastian. He's going to try and tell us what it’s like to run a place like this. The pressure for profitable production amid the wildly unpredictability that is Africa. (more…)

We’re not the world

If you’re like me, there’s probably nothing you’d like to forget more about the '80’s than the music. OK, so I’m often accused of being a music snob. But still. Never Gonna Give You Up. Maneater. We’re Not Gonna Take It. There was also Live Aid. A purging of self-indulgent guilt from an especially gilded time. We did good, didn’t we? We bought concert tickets around the world. Watched the making of the video. Subscribed to MTV. Despite the altruism, there are some that would like to forget Live Aid as well. To some, it put irrevocable contexts around African…

Who’s sure all that glitters is gold?

Riding the bus from the “before” site in Akeym toward the working mine in Ahafo. After meeting, hugging, and looking in the eyes of the people in the surrounding villages, there’s a lot of reflection. There are human beings here. Students are sharing experiences and stories about them. We have new relationships, and that changes things. Discussions have shifted from theories about relocation operations to relocating people. People we now know. (more…)

Extreme… part II

There appears to be very few international travel classes like this in higher ed. Amanda Pollock, Daniels executive program staff member and the co-brainchild behind the program, is the person who actually makes it all happen. Sold it to Daniels management. Promotes the program. Helps create the curriculum and on-the-ground integration. Books the buses. Brings the gifts to our hosts. She’s worked in other Universities coordinating travel abroad programs. And she agrees. “Most travel abroad programs are tourist courses. They’re ineffective in delivering any kind of sense of culture, and what its like to do business abroad. “The goal of…

Now that we can do anything

Today we visited the Elima Slave castle. Stood in the dungeons. Walked through the gate that led to the ships. This place was only the beginning of the atrocities. It’s futile to describe the emotions. Multilayered, complex, sickening. A thought struck me on the bus back to the hotel. It isn’t exaggerating to suggest that we find ourselves facing a new world. A world with unexampled challenges, a totally opaque future. But with the same undying hope that we just can't seem to shake. As an agent of defining this new world, capitalism is facing the same question that faced…

Jumpsuits are all the rage in Ahafo

Many Newmont employees are required to wear jumpsuits. Makes them easier to spot by the mining vehicles, and a little easier for security. Apparently they’re a hot item. Counterfeit Newmont jumpsuits started popping up in the small towns around the Ahafo mine site. Newmont folks tell me they have yet to see them used in any kind of fraudulent ways. Ghanaians are telling Newmont that they’re simply a status symbol. They signify you’re employed. It’s impressive around town. “You see them on the streets at night in some of the villages,” one Newmont employee told me. "They're all the rage."