Sub-Saharan Africa Lost $261 Million Last Year Due to Internet Shutdowns
As internet penetration across the world increases, internet shutdowns that hit various countries last year had a devastating effect on the economy. With so many people, businesses and governments depending on the internet for service delivery, long hours of internet shutdown dealt a big blow to economic development.
Top10VPN, a London-based research firm that keeps tabs on internet privacy, security, and freedom released a report indicating that the global economy lost $23.79 billion to internet shutdowns in 2022, an increase of 323% from $5.62 billion recorded in 2021.
Sub-Saharan Africa recorded losses worth $261 million from 9532 hours of internet shutdowns that affected 132.2 million people.
Out of the 23 countries across the world that the report evaluated, Africa had Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Somaliland.
Asia recorded the longest hours of shutdown time at 25,686 hours, while Europe was the worst hit economically, losing $22.02 billion. North America recorded the shortest shutdown hours at only 35 hours, affecting about 11.8 million.
All major social media platforms; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube were deliberately shut down between 4-12 times in 2022. Twitter recorded a total of 21,650 hours of shutdown throughout the year, the longest time for a social media platform.
In Nigeria, Twitter was shut down for 222 days. This cost the Nigerian economy a total of $1.54 billion over the two calendar years, says the report.
In Ethiopia, there has been a civil war-torn Tigray since late 2020 and it continued throughout 2022.
“The extended internet outage has made it difficult for human rights groups to document what’s been described as “crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing,” says the report. The country has lost $145.8M in revenue from 1,533 which has affected over one million people.
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