Since 2015, African countries have experienced frequent internet shutdowns by their governments via the blockade of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.
In 2016 alone, over 10 countries had internet shutdowns, some were experienced during and before elections and also during national exams like it happened in Algeria.
In 2017, Cameroon instituted a 93-day blackout in its English-speaking regions. Togo also shut down the internet during recent protests against President Faure Gnassingbé.
According to the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa, internet shutdowns are becoming a mainstay in Africa. The authority tallied the shutdowns in the countries below.
Over a combined period of 236 days since 2015, internet interruptions in these countries led to deficits of over $235 million.
The shutdowns are even more damaging as technology and the internet are needed to enable more businesses across the continent. By 2025, the internet’s contribution to Africa’s GDP could grow by as much as 10% or $300 billion, according to McKinsey.
The table below by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa shows how internet shutdowns continue to cost Africa's economies