Coltan, Congo's Curse
This week my political thriller was published in London by Austin Macauley Publishers. I am quite excited to tell you this story. It is about Coltan, an essential mineral which allows our smartphones to work. The book is a fast- paced fiction/fact tale and I often use symbolism to express the urgency of finally solving the Congolese armed conflict over natural resources that started right after the Rwandan genocide in 1994, but historically commenced through a reign of terror by the King of Belgium, Leopold II, in 1885. The protagonist Erik Luyts is a trader who works in Geneva for Metalore, an oil and minerals trading company. When he is back in Congo, he decides to do something about the killings, the rapes and the pillaging of Congolese miners, women and children who work in the Coltan, Cobalt or Cassiterite mines. He develops a responsible manner to operate the mining area, but has to deal with hostile actions from businessmen, politicians and the military who profit from a status quo.
I wrote this book because there are solutions to such complex situations and they can be developed by Systems Sciences, which allows us to re-design harmful operations into mutually beneficial ones.
The only thing that is needed is that someone finally starts doing the right thing. Why are the United Nations or the World Economic Forum not able to solve the Congolese and/or other armed conflicts? Erik, helped by his wife who works for Doctors Without Borders, decides to make a difference, but must pay a high price. Is it too high?
I have pledged to donate 5% of my book earnings to Doctors Without Borders www.msf.org and 5% to The Sentry, the NGO, that investigates war crimes and maps money flows created by illegal exploitation and corruption, founded by John Prendergast, George Clooney and Don Cheadle. www.thesentry.org. Also, I am proud and happy to tell you that the story is also being supported by the sustainable phone manufacturers 'Fairphone' in Amsterdam.