Skip to content

The Growing Concern about Internet Shutdowns has taken Centre Stage in Africa

Since 2020, at least 12 countries have shut down the internet at least 19 times in Africa. In 2020, the Nigerian government suspended the use of Twitter in the country, citing security concerns. The seven-month shutdown of Twitter cost the Nigerian economy $26.1bn (N10.72 trillion). Last year, Senegal experienced a series of Internet blackouts and social media shutdowns following widespread protests. In 2023, Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed a financial setback of $1.74 billion during 30,785 hours of internet downtime, affecting 84.8 million people, Top10VPN revealed in research. The main reasons for the shutdowns were protests, information control, conflict, military coups, and election interference. Ethiopia, for example, blocked social media and messaging services for 158 days amid religious tensions and anti-government protests, losing nearly $43 million.