Post-independence developmental trends of the gold jewellery industry in Ghana: a case study of Asantes

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May, 2015
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This thesis studied the developmental trend of gold the jewellery industry in Ghana since independence with particular reference to the Asantes. As at the year 2011 Ghana was rated the world’s 9th largest producer of gold and the 2nd in Africa. However, its gold jewellery industry accounts for very little percentage of the world production total. This discrepancy is an issue of concern since currently Ghana derives the bulk of its revenue from gold. Value addition to the nation’s gold jewellery industry will improve the nation’s fortunes significantly. The qualitative method of research was employed to gather and synthesize the data. Results obtained indicated that all the craftsmen involved in the jewellery industry were Ghanaians who were full time practioners, with a sizeable number (28%) of them being females, majority of whom are graduates from tertiary institutions. The issue of raw gold acquisition and absence of a refinery were observed to be major problems facing the industry. It was also observed during the field visit that much of the machinery being used by the craftsmen were outmoded. The use of the adinkra symbols was found to be the most popular or new trend of all the designs being used by the jewellers as the majority (75%) of the jeweller admitted using them. The apprenticeship system of training continues to provide the skill in the industry. It was evident from the interaction with traditional rulers that the socio-political and cultural roles of jewellery in Asante still survive despite the influence of education, religion and globalization. The study concluded that for Ghana to ensure a sustainable gold jewellery industry growth a concerted effort will be required by all the stakeholders (including, government, non -governmental agencies, jewellery industry and private sector players) to take full advantage of the country’s significant endowment in gold and urgently take steps to revamp the industry.
A dissertation submitted to the Department of General Art Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in African Art and Culture,