Connecting Electronics and Conflict Minerals

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

An artisanal mine in Katanga

There is a direct connection between armed conflict in Congo and the minerals we use in our phones and computers. Bibi Bleekemolen has been investigating that connection, in an effort to understand how it works, who is involved, and what can be done about it.  Her focus is the role that electronics companies have in the raging conflicts in eastern Congo.

Earlier this year she went along as part of the fairphone fact finding mission to Katanga.  In this podcast we discuss the aftermath of that journey as well as Bibi’s extensive research into the topic.

Recommended Links about Conflict Minerals and Congo:



ctrp344 The Effects of the World Cup on South Africa

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

Photo by Flickr member jit bag

After all the glamour and hoopla surround the World Cup in South Africa, what about the actual costs and benefits of such an event for South Africa. The construction of massive new stadiums, the infrastructure projects, the tourism… was it everything people hoped? Was it everything FIFA promised? Where did the money come from? And do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Chris Bolsmann, Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Aston (UK) has been following the topic since before SA got the world cup. He has been speaking and writing about the real costs of such a tournament for the nation. He joins me on the program from South Africa.

ctrp306 Videojournalist in Somalia

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As Somalia struggles to exist amidst what is a never ending power struggle, it is rare to have a reporter filing stories from the inside. Ruud Elmendorp is a rare example and someone that has been doing it for several years now. He joins me today to discuss what is happening and the challenges of doing things his way.

ctrp303 Blogging, Development, and Africa

by bicyclemark 4 Comments

In all the excitement of my trip to Istanbul last month, I failed to post 2 podcasts I recording during my time at the Re:publica conference in Berlin.
So at long last I’m starting with this first interview with my friend Geraldine who has worked in a development corporation for the past 5 years. Since last year she has been involved with open source and digital culture project in subsaharan Africa.
Together we get into blogs and the role they play in Africa. Different and unorthodox ways content is diffused throughout the continent, broadband penetration and the building of new deep sea broadband links for the continent, the OLPC, and much much more.

Links Geraldine recommends:


  • Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Bloodless Coup
  • Steve Earl – Someday