FULLY BOOKED Democratic Republic of Congo: Presidential elections and blood minerals

Talk November 30, 2011 7:00 PM


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Presidential elections are due to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the end of November and current President, Joseph Kabila, is standing again for what could end up being a 15- year presidency.

We will be examining the prospects of the DRC which has suffered so much violence and where rape is used as a weapon by rebel forces fighting for control of valuable mineral resources such as Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten that are used in everyday electronics such as mobile phones.

Recent election reforms mean that candidates can now win with only 15 – 20 per cent of the vote. Political speeches and broadcasts in the run-up to the election are using tactics that run along ethnic lines and violence has already broken out in some areas.

Can Vital Kamerhe the leader the Union pour la Nation Congolaise party (UNC) present a viable challenge to Kabila and if so, could he fulfill his pledges of freedom, justice and tolerance? What can be done to  address issues of corruption, abuse and extortion in the country?

Join us at the Frontline Club to debate the outcomes of the Presidential elections and to address the challenges that the people of a country with such vast resources face.

Chaired by Mary Harper, the Africa Editor at the BBC World Service. She has reported on Africa for the past twenty years, reporting from many conflict zones, including Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Algeria, and has done special investigations into Islamist extremism in Africa. She has written for several publications including The Economist, The Times and The Washington Post.


Natznet Tesfay, head of Africa Forecasting at Exclusive Analysis Ltd. Prior to joining Exclusive Analysis she worked in the field of urban development, consulting for municipal governments in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Mike Davis, campaign leader of Global Witness’ Conflict Minerals campaign, that is calling on the DRC to demilitarise their mining sector and for electronic companies to clean up their supply chains.

Jean-Roger Kaseki, Human Rights campaigner in the UK and DRC and Labour councillor for Tollington Ward, Islington. He is originally from the Congo.

Fiona Lloyd-Davies, award winning flm maker, she has been making flms about human rights issues in areas of confict since 1992; working in Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan and extensively in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Image Credit: Julien Harnels / Flickr