As the world turns towards greener economies there will be a surge in demand for natural resources that enable a less carbon intensive future. This includes the mineral cobalt, which is key component of batteries.
Most of the world’s supply of cobalt is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The DRC. The last time there was a surge in demand for minerals in the DRC, the competition over access to those minerals was a key driver of conflict in the Eastern part of the country, where numerous armed groups continue to operate today. This obviously raises the prospect that increasing demand for cobalt might contribute to insecurity in the DRC.
What can be done to prevent that outcome and ensure that DRCs vast cobalt supplies contribute to peace and development, not insecurity can conflict? On the line with me to explain the link between mineral extraction and conflict in the DRC is Laurent Kasindi, Program Quality Specialist at Search for Common Ground. We kick off with a discussion about cobalt mining the DRC before having a broader conversation about strategies around Cobalt extraction that may support peace-building and sustainable development.