"Militia-controlled mines in eastern Congo have been feeding raw materials into the world's biggest electronics and jewelry companies and at the same time feeding chaos. Turns out your laptop—or camera or gaming system or gold necklace—may have a smidgen of Congo's pain somewhere in it."
Emerging economies taking advantage of mineral and petroleum wealth often face corruption and conflict rather than benefit from sustainable development. This resource curse can be obviated, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer argues, if capital-exporting countries, banks, and corporations insist on transparency.
The U.S. move to launch a case against China at the WTO over its cap on exporting rare earth metals is the latest international effort to hold China accountable to international trade standards, explains CFR's Elizabeth Economy.
A new spotlight on mineral wealth has spurred debate on the prospects for rescuing Afghanistan's feeble economy. The country's minister of mines and two World Bank experts discuss how to manage Afghan resources.
New York Time's Donald McNeil Jr. discusses the implications of the discovery of potentially $1 trillion worth of minerals in Afghanistan on its future and susceptibility to falling under the "resource curse," based on the background and history of similar countries.
Correspondent Kira Kay reports on a Canadian hunt for "rare earth" minerals, elements mined almost exclusively in China, that are key to emerging green technologies, cell phones, engines and other high-tech devices despite their short supply.