Western Corporations Exploitation of Congo’s Electric Stones
A significant find of electric stones has just recently been made in the Republic of Congo. These materials, also known as lithium-ion batteries, have the power to fundamentally alter the economy of the nation and spur significant advancement. However, there is also a case of exploitation, as with any discovery of a natural resource in Africa.
There are many theories regarding the implications including a viral video that shows electric stones sparking when they were touched. What “conspiracy theorists” are referring to as Vibranuim, from the fictional story of the Black Panther, was found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and is now making headlines around the globe.
What the Electric Stones Are Made Of
Scientists from all over the world are baffled by this discovery and its potential applications in the advancement of renewable energy. It is thought that quartz and magnetite combine to create electric stones. The electrical characteristics of the stones are a result of the combination of these minerals.
Found in the Katanga region of the Congo, these stones have already been subject to numerous studies. The rocks can store energy that makes them a potential energy source, say researchers. It has also been discovered that the rocks can produce electrical currents when exposed to sound frequencies, making them open to various applications.
As most believe that the timing of this discovery could only lead to more exploitation of the suffering masses of the DRC, let’s explore further to expose the realities of their assertion.
A Trip Down Memory Lane – A Dark Past
The Belgian government’s system of forced labor was one of the most infamous elements of the colonization of the Congo. Millions of Congolese were forced to labor inhumane conditions on rubber and palm oil plantations. The system of forced labor resulted in the deaths of an estimated two million people, with many being beaten and even killed if they did not meet their quotas.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was colonized by Belgium in the 19th century, sparking a dark chapter in African history. Under the leadership of King Leopold II, the systematic exploitation of the nation’s natural and human resources was a defining trait of the period. The consequences are still being felt by the Congolese people today, who were devastated by it.
Congo was abundant in rubber, ivory, gold, tin, copper, and other precious metals. The Belgian government monopolized these resources, allowing for their inexpensive extraction and pricey sale. This made the colonizers richer by keeping the Congolese people in poverty.
The colonial period wreaked havoc on the nation’s culture and history in addition to destroying large portions of the rainforest and polluting rivers through mining and resource exploitation. Colonial rule by Belgium caused the deterioration of customary cultural practices and the loss of priceless historical and cultural artifacts. The traditional systems of government and social structure were actively undercut by the Belgian government. It promoted the use of the French language, the French way of life, and French as the official language.
The Congo’s Exploitation in Recent Times
As is the case in most African countries post-colonialism, the story isn’t much different. The DRC has continued to be exploited both by internal and external forces. Thereby causing more suffering to the poor masses of the country, including the widespread issue of child labor in the mining of cobalt.
The manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in a variety of electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and electric cars, requires cobalt as a key ingredient. With an estimated 60% of global reserves, the DRC is one of the planet’s major producers of cobalt. However, several problems, including corruption, a lack of transparency, and violations of human rights, plague the nation’s mining industry.
In fact, a lack of oversight and regulations in the DRC’s mining sector has allowed companies to operate with impunity. Furthermore, Western nations have participated in the exploitation of the nation’s mineral resources.
These Western nations have not been penalized for deliberately failing to manage their supply chains with sufficient diligence. Or for failing to do enough to address the issues of child labor and other human rights breaches.
What Does the Future Hold for Resource Rich Congo?
The Republic of Congo is in a good position to gain from this expanding demand. The government has started investigating the possibility of mining and exporting the nation’s abundant supply of electric stones. Just like cobalt mining, one major worry is that businesses exploit the lax regulations. And also, the oversight in the Republic of Congo in obtaining the electric stones at a low cost.
Another issue is that the nation might lack the facilities and capacity to process the electric stones on its own, which could result in a scenario where the raw materials are exported with no value addition taking place in the nation. As a result, the Republic of Congo would lose out on any potential economic gains from manufacturing and downstream processing.
To lower these risks, the government of the Republic of Congo should work closely with international organizations and experts to develop a comprehensive mining policy that considers the needs of local communities and the environment. This policy should ensure accountability and transparency in the mining process as well as a fair distribution of profits.
In addition, the government ought to invest in developing the capabilities and infrastructure required to process the electric stones locally. Congo can increase the value of its raw materials and economic returns from its mining operations by doing this.
In conclusion, the Republic of Congo’s potential for significant economic growth is increased by the discovery of electric stones there. However, it is imperative that the government take the necessary action to guarantee development, sustainability and minimized exploitation.