Congo Season: Media Talk – Lifting the Curse

Talk Thursday 15th May, 2008

Are Congo’s natural resources to be found at the root of the nations problems or do they offer a key to its future development?

Congo’s 5-year civil war has claimed an estimated five million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. It has been called possibly the worst emergency to unfold in Africa in recent decades. Many of the belligerents benefited from the country’s vast mineral wealth, with all sides taking advantage of the anarchy to plunder natural resources.
What role have resources played in the conflict? What role have international corporations played? Have the NGO’s got it right – are the numbing statistics accurate? Where have the vast mineral profits gone?
Will the country’s huge deposits of precious minerals be used to rebuild the country’s infrastructure or will it be business as usual?

Muzong Kodi – is a research fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs.

Tricia Feeney – is the Executive Director for Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID).

Aloys Tegera – is the director of the Pole Institute in Goma.

Caty Clement – Sits on the UN panel of experts on resources for Congo.

Moderated by Richard Dowden director of the Royal African Society.