Ghana: Abdulai Darimani
"Do not let the company make the first offer. It will divide you," Dram advises a gathering of citizens in Prestea, a town located in southeastern Ghana that has been torn apart by a large open-pit gold mine operated by a Canada-based mining company. Navigating through tense exchanges, he succeeds in bringing the fractured community together to discuss how to collectively present its demands to the company.
Abdulai Darimani, or "Dram" as his friends call him, works with Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa), a research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting economic and social justice in Africa. According to Dram, mining in Africa is a "race to the bottom," in which deregulation is limiting the capacity of governments to regulate the exploitation of the continent's mineral resources. This has led to serious environmental degradation and human rights abuses.
Dram is working to reverse this trend. Along with supporting communities in mining areas to organize, Dram collaborates with public interest law organizations to support litigation efforts against mining companies. Through TWN-Africa, he also coordinates the Africa Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES), a pan-African network that facilitates consensus building and common action among activists, academics, and communities affected by mining. TWN-Africa also works with organizations in countries where these mining companies are headquartered to advocate for legislation to regulate their operations overseas.
Be it around a farmer's kitchen table in rural Ghana or at an international mining policy conference in downtown Ottawa, Dram is a connector, linking individuals and groups in common action for greater environmental and social justice.
|Reviewed October 2, 2006||Publishing Policies|