Creating people's geographies
Cell phones may have revolutionized the way we communicate, but in central Africa, their biggest legacy is war and the extermination of endangered species.
More than 4 million people have died in central Africa in a war over coltan, a heat-resistant mineral ore widely used in cell phones, laptops and other high-tech electronics. Coltan is found in three-billion-year-old soils like those in the Rift Valley region of Africa. The tantalum extracted from the ore is used to make tantalum capacitors, tiny
components that are essential in managing the flow of current in electronic devices. Eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).