Internet shutdowns cost Sub-Sahara Africa billions of dollars

2022-01-12 16:22:52
Internet shutdowns cost Sub-Sahara Africa billions of dollars

Countries in Sub-Sahara Africa lost a total of $1.93 billion from their economies, because of widespread internet shutdowns by governments, as demonstrations and crackdowns on opposition and civic society ensued last year.

This is contained in the new Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns 2021 report, which says, "75% of government (global) internet outages were associated with additional human rights abuses, an increase of almost 80% compared with 2020".

The report also says that 69% of all internet disruptions were associated with restrictions on freedom of assembly, 29% with election interference, and 29% with infringements on freedom of the press.

The biggest violator of people's access to the internet in Africa last year was flagged as Nigeria, at a cost of $1.45 billion. Nigeria is second to Myanmar, which had a cost of $2.8 billion.

In Nigeria's case, 144 million internet users were affected for 5 040 hours (210 days) in a population of more than 206 million people.

"The Nigerian government blocked access to Twitter in June. The initially indefinite ban followed Twitter’s removal of a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that was in breach of the social media platform’s rules."

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