There are approximately 204 countries on 7 continents throughout the world. The continent of Asia is the most populated continent with 60% of earth’s total inhabitants. Africa is the hottest continent, so it is no wonder it is home to three deserts with the Sahara occupying 25% of the total area of Africa. North America is home to one of the largest economies of the world. South America is home to one of the largest forests, which accounts for 30% of the total land mass of South America. Antarctica is the coldest continent in the world and is completely covered by ice. Antarctica has no permanent inhabitants, except scientists who perform research. Europe has the biggest economic and political union in the world.
Africa is the richest continent when it comes to natural resources. The continent of Africa is home to natural resources like diamonds, gold, platinum, coffee, tea, aluminum, soft drink concentrates, cooper, petroleum, natural gas, cocoa beans, fish, iron ore, textiles, crude oil, livestock, cotton, bauxite, coal, uranium, coltan, and many other natural resources.
How many of you know the popular slogan, “Can you hear me know?” This slogan was used by Verizon wireless cell phone company for years, but did you know Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the main supplier of coltan. Coltan or Columbite-Tantalite is a dull black metallic ore from which niobium and tantalum are extracted. Tantalum is used in smartphones and other electronics to construct electronic capacitors. Since tantalum is ductile and does not cause an immune response in humans it is also used to make surgical appliances, a replacement for bone, a connector of torn nerves, and a binding agent for muscles.
Around the world it is estimated 8.98 billion people or 66.72% of the world’s population own cell phones. With the cell phone sector growing and coltan being used for everything from cell phones, batteries for electric cars, jet engines, pacemakers, and many other uses it has caused a demand for this resource. This demand has unfortunately caused exploitation of this natural resource, as such most central African coltan is considered conflict mineral due to mining areas being controlled by armed factions and organized crime.
Conflict minerals fuel and continue to sustain armed violence around the world. The four conflict minerals (gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten) are some lucrative sources of income to armed groups. Raised Hope for Congo is a campaign advocating to end the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo. Raised Hope for Congo has transformed supply chains of the world’s leading electronic companies to eliminate conflict minerals and help build conflict-free minerals trade in Congo. To learn more about conflict minerals or to help raise awareness, visit https://enoughproject.org.
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