The U.S. needs to watch more football

He’s a big guy. Smart. Ghanaian friendliness exemplified. A presence barefaced in its proclamation: “Challenge me? Sure. But you better bring it.” Kwasi Boateng, Social Investment Manager at the project in Akyem.

He and I are having an early breakfast in the empty mess hall. He’s patient with my questions.

Of course it’s challenging to work with local NGO’s the way you’re describing but you in the west will never understand the myriad of cultural threads that tangle their agendas… No, I don’t miss the straightforward office work in Accra but there are days when it all seems futile but I’ll never give up because I love my country with a vengeance and the people even more… Ghana can gain more from learning from companies like Newmont so we can do it on our own and that’s far better than the fleeting jobs and income international companies provide… Newmont is saying the right things and they’re acting on it so yes there is trust being built but Ghana has a long history of exploitation from gold mining companies… Yes, I know some good places to hear music in Accra here’s my cell phone number call me when you get back there.

“If Newmont’s approach to sustainability works, and more corporations adopt their practices, would it make you more at ease with western companies doing business in Ghana?”

footballstadiumBig smile.

“Did you know the Africa Cup kicks off in a week and Accra will host several matches? Ghana will be a showcase for African progress. It’s our chance to lead.”

I don’t watch soccer…err, football. I guess I better start.