Mobile phones, computers, portable music players, and other gaming systems are among some of the devices that fuel conflicts in the great lakes region due to the increasingly high demand of the mineral components in the gadgets. Photo/Internet
A German expert and economic geologist Philip Schutte is expected in Kigali for a one-day lecture on one of the great lakes region sensitive subjects – that of conflict minerals in the region.
The lecture, set to take place on Wednesday 29th January at 6.30 pm, is set to be one of the rarest yet important on a subject that has long been evaded or tackled sparingly.
It’s evident since more than a decade that illegal military groups in the Great Lakes Region finance themselves by controlling local mining. The extraction and trade of tin, tantal (coltan), wolfram, and gold in Central Africa countries contributes to the conflicts in the Easter Congo and to the violation of human rights.
Such conflict materials, which also represent the main products of Rwanda’s emerging mining sector, are important components for mobile phones and other electronic products.
Article 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act (2010) obligates companies listed on the US stock exchange to identify the provenance of minerals in their supply chains in order to ensure minimum standards for the production and trade of sensitive minerals.
The scientifically backed certification of these commodities plays a crucial role in a new global transparency system. The economic geologist Dr. Philip Schutte is manager for a technical cooperation project on “Mineral Certification” in Rwanda and Burundi, implemented by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) together with local partners.
He will give a survey of the development of the mineral sector in Rwanda and will outline its original dimension and the state of the mineral certification.