While Leonardo DiCaprio tried his hardest to make conflict diamonds sexy, the fact remains that civil wars in central Africa are largely funded by the sale of minerals. And it isn't just limited to blood diamonds. Several minerals used in the manufacturing of small electronics, like cell phones, are also produced in these conflict regions.

Next year, the federal government is forcing US companies to list where they get their materials and identify any purchases which might be linked to armed conflicts in Africa.

Some of the more commonly used materials that can be found in these regions are tin, tungsten, tantalum and titanium. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces nearly 14% of the world's tantalum supply and 5% of the world's tin supply.

In reaction to the impending federal regulation, Apple and Intel have already agreed to stop purchasing materials that can be linked back to conflict regions. While it's unclear why they may have been knowingly purchasing materials from these regions in the first place, at least it is a step in the right direction.