In most countries across Africa, internet speed and reliability leave a lot to be desired. To make matters worse, some African governments sanction internet shutdown especially when they are trying to muzzle political opposition and demonstrations from spreading their messages online.
According to a report tabled by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), internet disruptions since 2015 have cost the African continent $237 million. CIPESA tabled this report on Friday, September 29 in Johannesburg during the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2017.
CIPESA went further to elaborate that since 2015, there have been a total of 236 days of internet shutdown within the sub-Saharan Africa. CIPESA further outlined:
“Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile. African governments should desist from ordering shutdowns.”
The African Government notorious for ordering Internet Shutdown
Since 2015, the government of Ethiopia has order 36 days of both national and regional internet shutdown costing the country $123 million, according to the CIPESA report. The internet shutdown in Ethiopia often follows a protest by the Oromia or during the national examination seasons.
Other countries such as Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Gambia, Gabon, Chad, and Niger have ordered for internet shutdown during the electioneering seasons. Cameroon just recently ordered the shutdown of the internet in the Anglophone regions of the country; an undertaking CIPESA says cost the country $38 million.