Bandi spoke at TEDxExeter 2012, and is back to update us about his work with the Congo Calling campaign. The campaign was a direct result of the support following his talk.
He is reminding us of the impacts of the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo has gold, diamonds, tin, tungsten and tantalum, which are vital components of mobile technology. Congo should be wealthy, but this wealth has become a curse. The profit from the trade in conflict minerals has financed much of the war.
At the moment, there is an international peace process in the Congo. There are signs of hope, but the suffering of ordinary people continues. What can we do?
Congo Calling encourages individuals to lobby for and buy fairtrade technology, and lobby their governments; it encourages governments to develop and enforce legislation; and it encourages technology companies to purchase their minerals from conflict-free sources.
Our actions are beginning to make a difference. TED.com released Bandi’s talk on the same day that Apple released the iPhone 5. Bandi has asked us all to take our mobile phones out of our pockets. He wants each of us to ask our phone company what they are doing to source conflict-free minerals; and ask our MP re what they are doing to support legislation.