Linkages in Ghana's gold mining industry: Challenging the enclave thesis
By 2009, Ghana was the second-ranked African producer after South Africa, and had become the world's ninth largest producer of gold, at some 3.8% of global production, up from 2.6% five years earlier. Gold production volumes and revenues rose significantly over the decade from 2000. Yet gold mining tends to be perceived negatively in Ghana, and is seen as providing far less than it should in terms of public revenue, employment, skills development and spillovers, and localised economic development. Gold mining is often depicted as having an enclave status, disconnected and isolated from the rest of the economy. In contrast, the research findings here demonstrate that after a period of strong investment and growth, gold mining can no longer be viewed as an enclave activity: it is in fact more deeply linked into the Ghanaian economy than hitherto understood, through a set of as yet under-researched but promising economic linkages, notably backward linkages, which can potentially be strengthened by policy and support measures.
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