Finance Somalia is in its third week of internet shutdown and the economy is losing $10 million daily

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Somalia is facing internet blackout and it’s hurting grassroots aid relief efforts.

play Displaced women from drought hit areas wait to fill their jerrycans as in Dollow, Somalia ((Reuters/Zohra Bensemra))
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An undersea fiber optic-cable serving Somalia has been damaged and the country is currently losing about $10 million a day due to a lack of access to the internet.

The absence of internet is gradually immobilizing the Somalian government and all the economic activities in the country including its capital Mogadishu.

Post and Telecommunications Minister of Somalia Abdi Anshur Hassan said at a press conference that the country had lost more than $130 million so far due the outage.

Although the Somali government has assured its citizens that the issue is under control, many business owners have expressed that their business had suffered some heavy losses.

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“I have remained jobless due to lack of Internet service. I have lost $1,300 (about Sh135, 000) in the past two weeks,” says Abdirashid Moalim Yusuf, a web developer in Mogadishu.

The country is already purging itself of two decades of conflict and a more recent violent rebellion by the Islamist group al-Shabaab has halted the possibility of a sustainable development in the country.

A 2014 report by the International Telecommunication Union says Internet connection was low in Somalia with as little as 1.6 percent of the population using the internet.

Three years ago the government completely shut down 3G mobile phone services in the southern part of the country due to violent insurgencies from al-Shabaab combatants.

Observers have expressed concern for the general elections scheduled to be held in at least five African countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Angola, and Liberia, in the second half of 2017 due to the untrustworthy nature of the internet.