Scroll to top

The Buzz About Congo’s Conflict Minerals

No comments

The Buzz About Congo’s Conflict Minerals

Posted by Laura Heaton on June 8, 2009

The Buzz About Congo's Conflict Minerals

People are talking about the links in eastern Congo between the conflict minerals trade and the world’s deadliest war – and about our own ties to this tragic business through our cell phones and other electronic devices.

Thanks to the help of some high-profile activists, namely Ben Affleck, Sheryl Crow, and Maria Bello, a discussion of Congo’s conflict minerals made in onto the “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” segment of The Chris Matthews Show this weekend. While we wait for the edited clip, click here and find the discussion at the 2:40 second remaining mark on the video.

Popular bloggers David Donelson at Daily Kos and Matt Yglesias also picked up on news of the release of a new micro computer chip unfortunately name “Congo.” Donelson’s take:

The recent decision by AMD to name a new computer chip "Congo" has to go down in history as one of the cruelest marketing decisions ever made. What’s next, the "Holocaust" chip?

The news prompted Donelson to write a letter to the CEO of the chip’s manufacturer, AMD, calling the naming decision “astoundingly heartless and ill-informed.” Yglesias used the occasion to highlight the big issue:

Of course at the end of the day what chips get given which names doesn’t really matter. But the endless violence in Congo does matter, and better-understanding the supply chains used by major electronics firms matters to helping contain and curtail the violence.

Enough’s David Sullivan originally commented on the irony of the “Congo” chip here.

The weekend coverage of Congo’s conflict minerals suggests a promising trend toward increased public awareness about the tragedies fueled by this illicit trade. To learn more about conflict minerals and the violence in eastern Congo and to watch videos that illustrate the links connecting this violence to our cell phones, visit Come Clean 4 Congo, where a video contest sponsored by Enough and YouTube is underway.