In neighboring Tanzania, AngloGold Ashanti mined $1.5 billion worth of gold from 2000 to 2007, but only 9 percent of that money stayed behind as taxes and royalties. In the meantime, the firm's top shareholder—hedge fund billionaire John Paulson—lives on New York's Upper East Side and summers in the Hamptons.
Congo has virtually no public health system. AngloGold Ashanti, which has spent millions of dollars prospecting in this desperately poor area—and plans to extract billions in gold—has made only small contributions to a local hospital, schools, and a soccer tournament. "Nothing has been done," complains a local chief.
"We wouldn't have so much trouble if we weren't so rich." is a common sentiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo's people are desperately poor—not in spite of, but largely because of their nation's fabulous resource wealth.