Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 14, 2010 05:00 PM
As the World Cup shines a spotlight on South Africa for the next month, it also highlights Africa, for better or worse. Sunny messaging such as Coca-Cola's FIFA World Cup trophy tour naturally paints a happy picture of Africans. But it's not all sunny, of course.
An article in London's Observer yesterday highlights the plight of child refugees flooding into Johannesburg, where soccer tourism presents an unprecedented opportunity for young beggars, pedlars and others depending on handouts and charity.
With the global spotlight shining on Africa, pressure is also increasing on the world's leading electronics brands including Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson to commit to conflict-free products.
A not-for-profit organization called the Enough Project is trying to raise attention about the human cost of minerals mined in conflict zones and subsequently used in cellphones, computers and other electronic devices.
In addition to producing videos such as this, Enough's Raise Hope for Congo campaign aims to raise awareness via a fundraising album featuring performers including Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Mos Def and other musicians.
All proceeds from the campaign (featuring pro bono work by Unison) and album will support research and education about the Congolese crisis. The message: consumers and brands alike have a social responsibility to learn and do something about manufacturing with conflict minerals, before it's too late.