Why was gold valuable in West Africa?

Ghana itself was rich in ​gold​. People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable.

What was gold used for in West Africa?

The most common commodity that gold was used to purchase was salt, a mineral that was always in great demand in order to better preserve dried meat and to give added taste to food.

Why did West Africans want to trade gold for salt?

The people who lived in the desert of North Africa could easily mine salt, but not gold. … They craved the precious metal that would add so much to their personal splendor and prestige. These mutual needs led to the establishment of long-distance trade routes that connected very different cultures.

How was gold acquired in West Africa?

Gold was mined to the south of the newly emergent polity at the headwaters of Niger and Senegal rivers in what has become known as the Bure and Bambuk goldfields respectively. Traders and merchants from Ghana traded for gold from these mining areas by means of what has become known as ‘silent trade’, or dumb barter.

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Is there still gold in West Africa?

West Africa gold production to bounce back with 2.7% growth in 2021 after Covid-19 hit output in 2020, says GlobalData. After strong growth in 2019, West Africa’s gold production was damaged by the Covid-19 in 2020 due to the temporary suspension of mines such as Hounde in Burkina Faso and Fekola in Mali.

Where was gold found in West Africa?

Gold in West Africa

In West Africa, an ancient people called the Akan populated the location that we now call Ghana around the 11th-century CE. Among the many tribes of this ancient civilization, could be found, the ethnic groups of the Ashanti and the Fanti, who mined for gold along the rivers Volta and Ankobra.

What was a major effect of the gold salt trade in Africa?

The gold-salt trade in Africa made Ghana a powerful empire because they controlled the trade routes and taxed traders. Control of gold-salt trade routes helped Ghana, Mali, and Songhai to become large and powerful West African kingdoms.

Why was salt so important in West Africa?

Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money. As trade in gold and salt increased, Ghana’s rulers gained power.

Is the African gold salt trade still used today?

Even today, the salt trade continues, although the deposits are running out and the salt merchants can no longer command gold dust in exchange. Saharan salt from Taoudenni is still transported by Tuareg camel caravans, the still-90-kilo slabs now ultimately destined for the refineries of Bamako in Mali.

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Which country has the best gold in Africa?

Top five gold mining countries of Africa

  1. Ghana – 142.4 tonnes. …
  2. South Africa – 118.2 tonnes. …
  3. Sudan – 76.6 tonnes. …
  4. Mali – 71.1 tonnes. …
  5. Burkina Faso – 62 tonnes.

Does gold come from Africa?

About 244,000 metric tons of gold has been discovered to date (187,000 metric tons historically produced plus current underground reserves of 57,000 metric tons). Most of that gold has come from just three countries: China, Australia, and South Africa.

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