Nothing less than $237 million dollars has been lost by the continent due to internet disruptions since 2015, a report by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) disclosed.
The report, released on Friday at the Forum On Internet Freedom in Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, said there was a total of 236 days of internet shutdown in sub-Saharan Africa since 2015.
“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,” it said.
About 12 African countries have disrupted internet connection before and after elections including Uganda, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Niger, and Gambia where internet connection was blocked during their elections last year.
Other countries also disrupted the internet during anti-government protests and a typical case is Togo where bandwidth was reduced to disrupt online activities of opposition protesters.
Ethiopia’s 36 days of national and regional internet shutdowns since 2015 had cost the country $123 million, the report quantified.
This was done during national examination and the Oromia protests.
The report added that Cameroon’s 93-day shutdown in Anglophone regions cost the country about $38 million.