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From mines to minds: addressing the skills gap in Sierra Leone

Emmanuel Raufflet (Department of Management, University of Montréal, Canada)
Johannes Lohmeyer (Master′s student International Development Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany)

Publication date: 8 October 2014


Subject area

International business, Strategic management

Study level/applicability

BA and MA; courses: International business, Management courses with special focus on emerging and developing countries, Intercultural management, Strategic management.

Case overview

Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, June 2013 – Representatives of the London Mining Corporation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH were discussing the details about the official launch of the From Mines to Minds project. The From Mines to Minds project consisted of two components technical, vocational and educational training at St. Joseph's and functional adult literacy for people who could not benefit from the upgrade of St. Joseph's in 17 communities around the mine site. Each of them had committed 200,000 euros to the project. While the mining company favored an early launch due to internal and external pressures, the development agency evaluated that they needed to have a consolidated program before advertising it locally and nationally. This joint decision on the official launch revealed more structural issues in the “fit” between these two organizations in this cross-sectoral partnership designed to contribute to local and national sustainable development.

Expected learning outcomes

The purpose of the case is twofold. The first aim is to introduce students/participants to the challenges that arise when entering into a cross-sectoral partnership with another organization in a development project. The second aim is to expose students to the operational, business and strategic challenges related to operating in the volatile local and national context of a least developed economy.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email: to request teaching notes.



Acknowledgments go to all involved parties in the From Mines to Minds Project particularly to London Mining and GIZ.


Raufflet, E. and Lohmeyer, J. (2014), "From mines to minds: addressing the skills gap in Sierra Leone", , Vol. 4 No. 4.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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