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Linkages in Ghana's Gold Mining Industry: Challenging the Enclave Thesis

Year: 2011
Author: Bloch, Robin
ISBN: 978-1-77011-232-2

MMCP Discussion Paper No. 1

This report contains the findings of research into the case of the gold mining industry in Ghana. 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, 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 contract, our research findings demonstrate that after a period of strong investment and growth, gold mining can no longer be viewed as an enclave activity and is in fact more deeply linked into the Ghanaian economy than hitherto understood through a set of as yet underresearched, imperfect, but promising economic linkages, notably backward linkages, which can potentially be strengthened by policy and support measures.

Publication file: MMCP Paper 1.pdf