The relationship between armed conflict and mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo is undergoing rapid and radical changes. This autumn, the new Fairphone has reached the production phase, based on certificates provided by the conflict-free tine initiative and Solutions for Hope projects in the Central African country. In the meantime, initiatives are competing for the public’s and market attention. Time for a critical update.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is often represented as an isolated “Heart of Darkness”. Its booming cross-border trade nonetheless represents a powerful answer to state collapse and armed conflict and introduces new, surprisingly liberal, forms of government.