Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers.

Why are conflict minerals called conflict minerals

Conflict minerals fuel, fund and sustain armed violence in Africa. Materials used in cell phones have a direct influence on Africa's armed conflicts.


Materials used to make cell phone have a direct influence on human rights in Africa
Materials used to make cell phones have a direct influence on human rights abuse in Africa

Why are conflict minerals called conflict minerals?

Africa has 54 countries and 15 African countries are fighting wars and involved in perpetual violence. Conflict-Minerals 3TG. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank-Act; disclosing the use of the conflict-minerals or 3TG, tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten in Africa. Food is not the main imported item into Africa however; machinery and equipment top the list. Machinery and equipment used to mine minerals. Pick any household electronic at random such as a cell phone, a remote control, or a laptop and it probably contains minerals mined in Africa. Companies that are required to file a Conflict-Minerals Report must exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of their conflict minerals.

 
Tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold are some of the four minerals that are most often linked to armed-conflicts and related human rights abuses in Africa.

Materials used to make cell phone have a direct influence on human rights in Africa. Conflict minerals extracted in conflict zones are sold to spread and fund warfare throughout mineral rich Africa as conflict-minerals have fueled and continue to help fund and sustain armed violence in Africa. 

In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural mineral resources. During the Sierra Leone civil war from 1991-2002, cutting off people's’ limbs, in most cases their hands were one of the brutal strategies used by members of the Revolutionary United Front to terrify people to support them. 

Some 27,000 Sierra Leoneans are estimated to have been disabled or have had one or more of their limbs amputated during the civil war. The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to experience violence committed by other armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, and assorted Mai Mai militias. 

It is believed minerals in conflict areas are fueling the clashes and fights because armed groups are using forced labor to sell the minerals tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold for weapons. An Unexploded Ordnance or UXOs are explosive weapons such as bombs, shells, grenades, landmines, naval mines, etc. that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were discarded.

 
Conflict-Minerals funding war in Africa
Funding war in Africa

Conflict minerals have fueled and continue to help fund and sustain armed violence in Africa. Africa has 54 countries and 15 African countries are fighting wars and involved in perpetual violence. Sadly, 27 percent of people on the African continent are directly affected by bloodshed, and mayhem, many due to unethical sourcing of minerals in conflict zones.

 
What is Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act as it relates to conflict minerals? 

There has been a leak of a proposed executive order from Donald Trump on the temporary 2-year repeal Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act disclosing the use of conflict minerals. In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to issue rules requiring certain companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product” manufactured by those companies. 

Under the Act, those minerals include tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten. Congress enacted Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by Militia and corrupt businesspersons is helping to finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors by contributing to war and human misery of millions.

 
Conflict Minerals Report Conflict Mineral as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502(e)(4) means: (A) columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives; or (B) any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country.

 
Conflict-minerals
Conflict-minerals

Under Section 1502, a company that uses conflict minerals is required to conduct a reasonable country of origin inquiry that must be performed in good faith and be reasonably designed to determine whether any of its minerals originated in the covered countries or are from scrap or recycled sources. Companies that are required to file a Conflict Minerals Report must exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of their conflict minerals.

 
Responsible Sourcing of 3TG Third Party Audits typically involve an examination of purchasing transactions on a sample, basis to assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of conflict mineral sourcing practices at the particular smelter or refiner. Apple principally supports the work of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative or CFSI.

 
Materials used to make cell phone have a direct influence on human rights in Africa
Cell phones in Africa conflict minerals report

Apple states in 2016,” it focused its attention to two key areas: enhancing due diligence in the gold supply chain and helping improve local incident reporting and issue resolution.  Apple plans to continue to review in detail credible reports of incidents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring countries that may potentially connect to Apple’s supply chain and confirm the transparent reporting and resolution of any incidents related to armed groups where these incidents may reasonably relate to its supply chain.” Additionally, Apple stated it intends to further its efforts to drive smelters and refiners to comply with Third-Party Audits, and Apple will continue to remove from its supply chain those smelters or refiners that do not comply, the ultimate objective is protecting human rights in the African Region. 

Did you know? 3TG is a sign commonly used for four minerals; 3TG is Tungsten, Tantalum, Tin, and Gold. The 3T's stand for Tungsten, Tantalum, Tin and the G stands for gold. 3TG are the most common conflict minerals.

Below are more links to gold and minerial mining articles you will find thought provoking.

  1. Gold Mining the Devils Office South Africa
  2. Gold Mining and Gangs in Nigeria
  3. Gold causes lead poisoning in African children
  4. Artisanal and Small-scale mining


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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com