to learn how your cell phone is fueling the war in the

Bukavu ( D.R. Congo)
Comité de la Fédération de
Solidarité avec l'Afrique Noire
The Congo,
Your Cell
Where is the Democratic Republic of Congo?
And what does it have to do with your cell phone ?
Democratic Republic of
Population : 70 million
Life expectancy : 47 years.
Surface area : 2 340 000
Capital : Kinshasa
Président : Joseph Kabila
The world’s largest ecologic
and mineral reserves
It has 80% of the world’s
What is Coltan ?
• « white Gold »
• Coltan is an
abbreviation for the
minerals columbite
and tantalium.
• It is very rare in nature
• It is a strategic resource
for the development of
new technologies .
Col + tan = coltán
What is it used for ?
For making :
Cell phones, GPS,
satellites, radio guided
missiles, televisions
plasma screens, video
game consoles, computers,
laptops, PDA, MP3, MP4,
rockets, drones, electronic
games, cameras...
Where is it found?
• Thaïlande 5 %
• Brésil 5 %
• Afrique 80 %
• Australia10 %
Who gets rich from coltan ?
Lets visit a mine...
How is coltan mined?
• Coltan is mined by
hand under primitive
A typical coltan miner
A good worker can produce
1 kilo of coltan a day.
Average salery for a paid
worker in the Congo
10$ a month.
Many work as unpaid or slave
The technology boom has caused the price of coltan to
soar to 500$ a kilo.
Companies like Bayer, Nokia et Sony push the price war
Who works in the mines ?
- Young farmers and herders who have their
- War refugees.
- Prisoners of war.
- Thousands of children, whose small bodies can
easily crawl in tiny spaces within the mines
- Always guarded by soldiers.
Consequences of the situation;
• Forests and fields are transformed
into swamps.
• Boys and girls no longer go to school.
• Numerous illness due to; lack of
potable water, lack of food, hard
labor, exposure to contagious diseases
,such as HIV, all lead to early death
• Armed groups fight to control coltan
rich areas.
• Each kilo of extracted Coltan cost the
lives of two children.
• Many children die as the result of
landslides and mine collapses
Other consequences;
• Thousands of forced
• Thousands forced to
flee their homes
• Millions of refugees.
• Sexual violence
against women and
young girls.
Consequences for people and wildlife
• To extract coltan the national
parks of the Congo have been
• Workers in coltan mines work
from sunrise to sunset.
• They live off the land in the
mountains, depleting resources.
• They no longer farm agricultural
• The elephants population has
been reduced 80%.
• The gorilles population had been
reduced 90%.
Who finances these disasters?
• A UN report has denounced the
exploitation of the natural
resources of the Congo
• Reports implicate Rwanda,
Uganda and Burundi in the
trafficing of Coltan. These
countries in turn use the profits to
continue the wars in the Congo.
Who do they buy their arms
The implicated countries all denie
thier involvement in the coltan
• It has been estimated that the
Rwandan army has received at
least 250 millions dollars in 18
months thanks to the sale of
coltan, even it Rwanda itself has
no coltan.
Why should they stop this war?
International companies like:
Are highlighted in the UN
reports as« profiteers ».
They help finance the
coltan wars and sustain
corupt governments
Why has the international community
not stopped this war?
• Because the principal manufacturers of; computers, cellphones
and video games…
do not want it to stop,
• Under pressure from numerous governemnts,
the media avoids talking about it.
• Stopping the war would force companies to obtain coltan
legitimately at fair market value, while insuring humaine work
conditions, thus increasing the cost of coltan and decreasing
comapny profits
What can be done?
• DENOUNCE what is happening.
Spread the word to others
Think about how you can
reduce consumption
Buy from companies that
have pledged to use
“Conflict Free Minerals”
Set up recycling points for
cell phones and electronics
And You?… And Me ?…
Keep informed and
share what you know
Tell your friends, tes family, tes coworkers…
A better future for the congolese people depends on
you !
In Conclusion…
The Congo is the poorest country in the
world despite being the worlds richest
depository of natural resources
The country is bled by the greed of
multinational companies in collusion
with major governments.
Our life style and hunger for technology
feeds the violence and human rights
abuses in the Congo.
I don’t want my cell phone to FINANCE A WAR