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. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

African Culture is World Heritage

Appreciate Africa through African art, food, proverb sayings, folklore, biographies, spirituality and African living history.

Mercury Poisoning Happens Every Day In Africa

Mercury Environment Poisoning.

Exposure to mercury even in small amounts may cause serious health problems as in the case of Minamata disease.

Mining for gold in Mali Africa

Mercury Poisoning Happens Every Day In Africa

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Mercury is a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80. Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern.

What is the Minamata Convention on Mercury?

Minamata disease is a debilitating neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. The serious health and environmental effects resulting from the mercury pollution, and the need to ensure proper management of mercury gave birth to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. 

The objective of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is to protect the human health and the environment and releases of mercury and mercury compounds into the ground, air and water environment.

Minamata Convention on Mercury addresses the health concerns, especially in developing countries, resulting from exposure to mercury of vulnerable populations, especially women, children, and, through them, future generations and contamination of the environment for decades.

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining

Mercury occurs naturally in the earth's crust and is released into the environment from volcanic activity, weathering of rocks and human activity. Human activity is the main cause of mercury releases as a result of mining for mercury, gold and other metals and many other factors.

Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) refers to unlawful mining in Africa and other countries by miners using low technology or minimal mining machinery usually under dangerous conditions. The Minamata Convention on Mercury action plan on Artisanal and small-scale gold mining is to eliminate:

1. Whole ore amalgamation

2. Open burning of amalgam or processed amalgam

3. Burning of amalgam in residential areas

4.Cyanide leaching in sediment, ore or tailings to which mercury has been added without first removing the mercury

Madagascar small scale gold mining

In addition to facilitating the formalization or regulation of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector, keeping statistics on the quantities of mercury used and the practices employed in artisanal and small-scale gold mining and processing within its territory, creating a public health policy on the exposure of artisanal and small-scale gold miners and their communities to mercury.

Since ASM's are unlicensed, they are not regulated and health and safety issues, pollution to the environment, and child labor are chief concerns. Accidents and injuries from mining in unsafe tunnels, unprotected open pits and use of explosives lead to severe and fatal accidents. Chemical exposure and limited access to safety equipment are a day-to-day risk for poor miners.

Mining Africa's Health

Minamata Convention on Mercury was held in Kumamoto, Japan on October 10, 2013 and on August 16, 2017, entered into force. The following African Countries have signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury:

Mining Africa's Health The Minamata Convention on Mercury
African Country Signature Date


No data


11 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


No data

Burkina Faso

10 Oct 2013 


14 Feb 2014 


24 Sep 2014 

Central African Republic

10 Oct 2013 


25 Sep 2014 


 8 Oct 2014 

Côte d'Ivoire

10 Oct 2013 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

No data


10 Oct 2013 


No data

Equatorial Guinea

No data


No data


10 Oct 2013 


30 Jun 2014 


10 Oct 2013 


24 Sep 2014 


25 Nov 2013 


24 Sep 2014 


10 Oct 2013 


No data


24 Sep 2014 


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


11 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


 6 Jun 2014 


10 Oct 2013 


No data


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 

Republic of Cabo Verde

No data


No data

Sao Tome and Principe

No data


11 Oct 2013 


27 May 2014 

Sierra Leone

12 Aug 2014 


No data

South Africa

10 Oct 2013 

South Sudan

No data


24 Sep 2014 


No data


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 

United Republic of Tanzania

10 Oct 2013 


10 Oct 2013 


11 Oct 2013 

Did you know? Mercury is contained in many products, including batteries, thermometers and barometers, electric switches and relays in equipment Lamps including some types of light bulbs, dental amalgam for dental fillings, skin-lightening products and other cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Below are more links to gold 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

Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

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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Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet are dedicated to discovering, collecting and sharing African history and heritage celebrating 14 years of service in 2021. Share and support in the pride of being part of an important cultural and educational resource.

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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