internet shutdown

Internet shutdowns threaten elections in Uganda

By Access Now |

Amidst a growing crackdown on media, human rights defenders, and opposition politicians, the Republic of Uganda will hold general elections on Thursday, January 14. With a dark history of internet and social media blocking during national events, and alarming reports of disruptions already emerging, Ugandan voters’ rights to access information and express opinion are under threat. The #KeepItOn coalition, via an open…

Ethiopia Shuts Down Telephone, Internet Services in Tigray

News update in Ethiopia |

The Ethiopian government on Wednesday began restricting telephone and internet services to the troubled Tigray region, hours after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military response to an ambush on the military.

Information access rights group, Access Now, indicated the region had been closed to the world after Addis Ababa imposed a six-month State of Emergency, accusing Tigray…

#KeepItOn: The Ethiopian Government Must End the Arbitrary Use of Internet Shutdowns to Quell Protests

By the Access Now |

#KeepItOn: The Ethiopian government must end the arbitrary use of internet shutdowns to quell protests

We, the undersigned organizations and members of the #KeepItOn coalition — a global network of human rights organizations that work to end internet shutdowns — denounce the arbitrary use of internet shutdowns by the Government of Ethiopia in response to protests and unrest…

ECOWAS Court upholds digital rights, rules 2017 internet shutdowns in Togo illegal

By Access Now |

June 25, 2020 — Today, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice ruled that the September 2017 internet shutdown ordered by the Togolese government during protests is illegal and an affront to the applicants’ right to freedom of expression. The court ordered the government of Togo to pay two million CAF to the plaintiffs…

Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll

By Tiksa Negeri |

(Nairobi, March) – The Ethiopian government should immediately lift the shutdown of internet and phone communications in the Oromia region. The two-month-long shutdown has prevented families from communicating, disrupted life-saving services, and contributed to an information blackout during government counterinsurgency operations in the area.

Since January 3, 2020, the authorities have disconnected mobile phone networks, landlines, and internet services in western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega,…

Financial Inclusion in Africa in an Era of Internet Shutdowns

By Selassie Tay |

The World Bank estimates that 1.7 billion people globally are without any form of financial account as at 2018. In Sub-Saharan Africa, data from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) shows that the level of financial inclusion grew from 23% in 2011 to almost 43% in 2017, with a significant proportion attributed to digital financial services such as mobile money.

However, the…

Chad Lifted the 16-Months Social Media Shutdown But Concerns Remain

By Simone Toussi |

In July 2019, the Chadian government lifted a 16-month blockage on access to social media, which it had imposed in March 2018. While connected citizens are now able to access social media with ease, various concerns remain. Digital communication costs are prohibitively high, the media are routinely muzzled, the country is still autocratic, and President Idriss Déby…

Internet Blocked in Benin on Election Day

Benin News Update |

Internet access has been cut off in Benin as of 11:00 AM UTC, Sunday 28 April 2019, as the country was due to vote in parliamentary elections. Earlier in the day, providers in Benin blocked access to social media networks and communication apps for several hours, according to network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory. Facebook, Twitter,…

African Strongmen Are the Biggest Stumbling Blocks to Internet Access on the Continent

By Abdi Latif Dahir |
Internet disruptions have become a mainstay in Africa, with five countries—namely Gabon, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Chad, and DR Congo—already blocking connectivity just three months into 2019.
Besides cutting access, a new study posits that all five nations share another crucial characteristic: authoritarianism. The report from the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) notes that the less…

CIPESA, Open Net Africa Among 80 Organisations Denouncing Extended Social Media Shutdown in Chad

By Juliet Nanfuka |

March 28, 2019 will mark a year without access to social media platforms for citizens in Chad. The current disruption, which has left internet users in Chad unable to utilise platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, was initiated after an initial complete internet shutdown in January 2018, which lasted 48 hours.

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East…