By Ayano Ayomide:
It has been revealed that countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lost about $2.16 billion to the shutting down of the Internet and social media for 7,800 hours in 2019.
According to the Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns in 2019 report, the shutting down of the internet was mostly done by government authorities.
The report stated that Middle East & N. Africa lost $3.135 billion in 577 hours of shut down; Asia lost $1.68 billion in 9,677 hours shut down, while South America lost $1.07 billion to 171 hours.
The report further states that 13 countries in Africa made the list of first 21 countries with major impact of the Internet shutdown in the year under review.
Sudan had 1,560 shutdown hours, where it lost $1, 866.3 million. Algeria with 19.7 million Internet users, lost 50 hours to shutdown, which cost it $199.8 million.
Chad with one million Internet users, lost $125.9 million to 4,728 hours of shutdown, while DRC, which has seven million Internet subscribers lost $61.2 million to 456 hours of shutdown.
Ethiopia with 19.5 million Internet users, lost 346 hours, costing it $56.8 million.
Cumulatively, a total of $8.05 billion was the economic cost of Internet shutdowns globally in 2019, which was an increase of 235 per cent since 2015/16. The report said 122 major shutdowns took place in 21 countries in the year under review.
Recall that in 2016, 11 of the 56 global internet shutdowns happened in Africa. In 2017, there were 12 instances of internet disruption in nine different countries in the region while at least eight countries were affected by service disruption in 2018.