Technology, Minerals and War

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.

<Click to: Conflict Minerals Act>

4 Responses to Technology, Minerals and War

  1. Pascal Plourde says:

    Very interesting, did you have experience in the Congo? Maybe you should add some info regarding yourself since it is very educationnal and people like to know who’s writing.



    • rs says:

      Thanks for reading Pascal. I actually just added a bit of info on the about page-thanks for the suggestion. My name is Rodee, I’m a recent grad of the University of Wisconsin Mass Comm/Journalism Masters program, and the website and research was done as part of a course on new media. Haven’t been to DRC myself, although I’d love to go.

  2. Sadie Patraw says:

    I would like to use your data as a source in my Senior Project. I’m having troubles finding your last name, the date this was published, and the publishing organization. Please reply with the following information if you’re comfortable doing so! Thank you.

    • rs says:

      Hi Sadie, no problem at all. My name is Rodee Schneider. I originally published the site (independently), in May of 2011. You can trace all my original citations through the website (which is a just an online version of my research paper for a UW-Madison course). I’ll also add that there have not been any updates since 5/2011. Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck.

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