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Counting the Cost of Ethiopia’s War

The war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has not only caused the loss of lives and mass displacement but also loss of millions of dollars in revenue by businesses due to another full year of total internet shutdown. A new report by Top10VPN, a London-based VPN review firm that assesses internet privacy, security, and freedom shows that Ethiopian businesses have lost $145.8 million due to internet blackout in Tigray last year. It affected over 1 million internet users. In 2020, the country lost $100 million to internet outage which rose to $164.5 million in 2021, affecting 21.3 million users. There was no internet connection for a total of 8760 hours (365 days) in 2022, crippling digital payment systems, businesses, and efforts by human rights groups to use social media to document reported crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in Tigray, home to over 5 million people before the war.