Africa’s day is celebrated on 25th Mai. Celebrations around this day are held between lights and shadows. This continent, with more than one thousand millions of people , suffers the oppression by one of these countries , beaten by financial crisis , which pretends we forget people ,who are living in a regular crisis.
One year more, the organizations, which belong to Group Pro Africa, take part in the celebrations around this day. There will be moments to show socio cultural wealth of this continent and to denounce abuses suffered there.
Systematic plundering of natural resources of Africa will be emphasized this year , through the most paradigmatic case: Congo. Current conflicts in Kivus en DRC bring to light plundering of natural resources of Africa, which began in the colonial time and it continues in force with new ways of colonialism.
¿What’s happen in DRC? Open your eyes:
Although the area of this country is of an extreme and exuberant beauty, its mountains, forests and volcanoes hide other less nice characteristic to visit but more useful for making money: extraordinary mineral wealth. Around Kivus region, in many of its mines men, women and children dig out with their hands or basic tools during long working days , sometimes 300 meters under the earth with no safety. For this hard task, they don’t earn more than one dollar per day.
They look for minerals with exotic names, with a close reality: famous coltan, casiterita and wolframita, which are useful to produce most of electric modern systems.
Mineral wealth in this area has become a damnation without cure for the inhabitants. Several armed Congolese, Rwandans and Ugandans groups have remained in Kivus after the war, which devastated DRC between 1998 and 2003 and caused the death of 4.5 millions of people.
People from these populations are obligated by these groups, to do forced labours in mines under their control. Moreover, they extort miners through illegal taxes or take a part of their minerals. Congolese army, corrupted and not well paid, take part of these activities. Minerals, which come from these mines are called Conflict’s or blood’s minerals.
Kivus’ minerals go out DRC through comptoirs of Goma and Bukavu. These comptoirs are legal companies, which buy minerals to mines or agents and they export to international business, which melt , purify and get them ready to their industrial use.
Wondering, if commercial development of coltan and other minerals from RDC answer especially to human and socio economic necessities of this population, is essential.
Mineral extraction is and has been a resource for the self financing of this conflict. Almost all the main armed groups are involved in it and soldiers of Congolese army have done and do business with minerals in an illegal way, since many years ago with total impunity.
Different economic facts are developed, such as concentration of wealth for not many people, loss of subsistence agriculture, non production of large-scale stable occupation, deterioration of life-quality and impoverishment of communities , and intensive exploitation of natural resources.
The social impact is caused by the construction of necessary infrastructure for the operation and disposal of resources, but there is no investment for local communities. There is also the Congolese population displacement towards the mining areas.
Environmental impacts are also severe: resource contamination (such as water or land), deforestation, threats to endangered species. Moreover, there are mines in parks endangering the ecosystem.
There have been population movements to the mining regions, where it is denounced the lack of safety of miners, because this fact produces lots of accidents, several ways of violations of human rights and child labour, and the bad impact on the health of workers.
Once we open our eyes, will we look at the other way?
The 20 organizations, that make up the Group Pro Africa confirm our commitment to development, which ensures the access to human rights for all people and especially for those, who nowadays are without them.
* List GPA associations
- Asamblea de Cooperación por la Paz en Euskadi
- Asociación Africanista Manuel Iradier
- Cáritas Diocesana de Bilbao
- Comité de Solidaridad con África Negra de Bizkaia
- Derandein Fundazioa
- Euskal Kultur Kimbanguiste Elkartea
- FISC-Fundación Internacional de Solidaridad de Compañía de María
- FISC-Cooperación y Desarrollo
- Fundación Africana para la Medicina y la Investigación (AMREF)
- Foro Rural Mundial-Munduko Landagunea
- Fundeso Euskadi
- Haurralde Fundazioa
- Jóvenes y Desarrollo
- Medicus Mundi Araba
- Misiones Diocesanas Vascas
- Mundukide Fundazioa
- Nazioarteko Elkartasuna-Solidaridad Internacional
- Proclade Yanapay
- Serso Euskal Herria
Also, the following organizations add their compromise:
– ÁFRICA IMPRESCINDIBLE
– FLOR DE ÁFRICA
For further information contact the International Solidarity Foundation Company of Mary (FISC)
Contact: M Luz Sarabia (EpD area)
Phone: 628 073 010