17/10/18 – GTD Colloquium: ‘Heineken in Africa. An Island of Perfection in an ocean of misery’

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Date(s) - 17/10/18
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASOS), Grote Gracht 80-82, Maastricht


Topic‘Heineken in Africa. An Island of Perfection in an ocean of misery’

Participant: Olivier van Beemen (University of Cambridge)

Abstract: For over five years, investigative journalist Olivier van Beemen looked into the highly lucrative African business of Heineken. He brought to daylight many scandals and structural bad corporate behaviour, which are in sharp contrast with the company’s public statements on business ethics and sustainability. In this lecture, Van Beemen will give some insights into his methods, he will talk about the problems he encountered along the way and will tell how his relationship with Heineken evolved from non-existent to a ‘designated chair’ at the global head office in Amsterdam.

Olivier van Beemen is a journalist who has intensely investigated the role of Heineken, the Dutch beer company, on the African continent for the past 5 years. He has published critical articles on the multinational in NRC, Le Monde, De Correspondent and Follow the Money, all platforms with a wide reach. Inspired by the discoveries he made about Heineken in Africa, he now pursues a PhD in Political Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Olivier van Beemen has extensive experiences in critical journalism: he has worked for several Dutch and Belgian papers such as Financieel Dagblad, Elsevier, Knack, De Tijd, and Het Parool. He has written several books such as “In Parijs” (2009), “Heineken in Afrika” (2015) and “Bier voor Afrika” (2018). His latest book is translated into English and French.