The dramatic rise in digital technology significantly increased demand for the minerals needed to create electronic devices. For the people of natural resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), this demand would fuel a decade-long war that would leave nearly six-million dead in what’s cited as the bloodiest conflict since World War II.
This site examines the relationship between the foundation of our digital world–the mined raw materials found in nearly all modern electronic gadgets–and the violence it has spurred in one of the world’s major mining regions, the DRC.
A Catalyst for War
Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not new. Nor can the emergence of cell phones and other electronic devices that use Congolese mined minerals bear the sole responsibly for the region’s violence.
But the continued growth of electronic devices, and these devices ongoing reliance on ‘conflict minerals’, has had the profoundly negative result of prolonging violence, death and war for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a painful paradox, the same tools we use in our lives—including cellphones, laptops, cameras or video games– to raise our productivity, keep us entertained and ostensibly happier, house the same minerals that have been the cause of terror for so many in this region.