Cell phones and laptops rely on a particular mineral called colombite tantalum – coltan for short - and the growing demand for the material in the west has had ramifications in some pretty distant corners of the world.
Reporter Gregory Warner visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, where most of the world’s coltan is found, and where military factions are vying for control of an industry worth millions of dollars. There he met miner Fidele Musafiri who is just barely scraping by.
Fidele Musafiri, Miner won the Best News Feature Award in the 2009 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The story was produced with editor John Haas and engineer Ben Shapiro.
Gregory Warner is relocating to Nairobi to become the East Africa correspondent for NPR. Before this he was senior health reporter for Marketplace, tracing the financial incentives in American medicine. His stories have aired on Radiolab and This American Life, and he has written for Slate and The New York Times. He's received numerous fellowships and prizes including a 2009 Best News Feature award from Third Coast.
Fidele Musafiri, Miner first aired on Marketplace, as part of Homelands Productions' Working series.