Africa’s Vulnerability from Rich Prosperity

Jan 11, 2014 11:00 AM ET
Campaign: Conflict Minerals

The Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, the largest city of Kenya, Africa, was brutally seized under attack in September by al-shaabab, an extremist Islamist group from Somalia with connections to al-Qaeda. The upscale mall symbolized strength and prosperity but more importantly hope for the people of Kenya. The siege lasted for four days with 67 dead and 200 people wounded. The attack was believed to serve as retaliation for the presence of Kenyan militants in Somalia. During the four day lockdown, the mall was looted heavily by Kenyan soldiers who were caught on surveillance. Westgate has served as a prime target for anarchy and  savage heists. 

The rat race continues in the vast and violent boarders of Africa with no light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the terrorism taking place is over the distribution and consumption of rich minerals. These minerals are extradited in conflict and contribute to grave human rights abuses taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it’s adjoining countries. The raw materials are monopolized by armed guerrilla groups who exploit masses of innocent civilians for mining labor without wages. The raw materials have been coined as Conflict Minerals similar in reference to Blood Diamonds and are otherwise known as 3TG (Tantalum, Tungsten, Tin, and Gold).

Although Africa is abundant with natural resources and a source of great wealth, the continent is unable to thrive. Internal cataclysm is fierce and lines are blurred when deciphering what military enforcement is moral and what is corrupt. With over 5.4 million dead in the last fifteen years, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighboring countries, has been coined as the “World’s Deadliest War” by Time Magazine. International consumerism and manufacturing are indirectly sustaining the war by utilizing Conflict Minerals. 

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By: Jahara Singh