You may not have heard of coltan >, but you have it in your cell phone, laptops, pagers and other electronic devices. It is important to everyday communication around the world, but it is making the conflict in Congo more complicated.
What Is Coltan?
Columbite-tantalite — coltan for short — is a dull metallic ore found in major quantities in the eastern areas of Congo. When refined, coltan becomes metallic tantalum, a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electrical charge. These properties make it a vital element in creating capacitors, the electronic elements that control current flow inside miniature circuit boards. Tantalum capacitors are used in almost all cell phones, laptops, pagers and many other electronics
Watch full documentary video: Coltan Blood 2008 >>
Related article:Guns, Money & Cell Phones >>
The advancement in high-tech undoubtedly benefit the people as they become more productive in every human activity be it in trade, education or medicine. We’d also expect more under-developed countries, and especially the ones that supply the natural resources to prosper and advance in tandem with the technology.
However, greed overcome every good in the human, and in the case of Coltan >>, Congo is made to suffer so that a handful of multinational companies and crooks get wealthier.
There’s nothing evil in technology, except that ruthless the-end-justifies-the-means attitude in humans exploiting his own kind to satisfy his insatiable appetite for money.
I’m sad…and every time my mobile phone rings, I could hear the cries of Congolese men, women and children who suffered so that I could communicate wirelessly…
shame on me!
January, 11 2010
While in the eastern Congo last summer, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “With respect to companies that are responsible for what are now being called conflict minerals, I think the international community must start looking at steps we can take to try to prevent the mineral wealth from the DRC ending up in the hands of those who fund the violence here.”
Read further >>