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The commodity South Africa is best noted for contributed around 30% of total commodity sales in 2003, but as at January 2016, this has dropped to around 18%.
The resource has generally not benefited South Africans as the majority still live in poverty.
Ghana, the second most important gold producer after South Africa, between 2011 and 2015 produced 437,548 kilograms of gold, placing it among the top 10 gold producers in the world.
But when you visit gold producing communities like Prestea, Obuasi, Wassa, and Enchi, a majority of the people remain poor, with bad roads, polluted water, poor health and education infrastructure.
The mining companies are taking the largest percentage of the profit from gold mining.
According to the UK based The Economist magazine: “Gold accounted for 40% of [Ghana’s] exports in 2008, with a value of $2.2 billion. But the government received only $116m in taxes and royalties from mining firms” while the companies took more than $2 billion.”