In the fight against government-ordered internet blackouts, where are Africa’s mobile providers?
10 February 2017
It’s been more than two weeks since Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, roughly 20% of the country, had its internet access switched off. Cameroon’s government pressured local telcos to shut down access after protests against the French-language-dominated government’s marginalization of people from Anglophone regions.
The government is keen to stop protest organizers from using apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter to get the word out efficiently. Activists in Cameroon’s big cities, the notably French-dominant Yaoundé and Douala, had been making their voices heard with the #BringBackOurInternet hashtag.
Much has been written about the role of the government in enforcing the shutdown. But this issue is bigger than just the 34-year old government of president Paul Biya. In 2016, the United Nations adopted a Human Rights Council resolution on promoting and protecting freedom online. That year, the internet was switched off to stifle dissent in 11 African countries.
Source: Quartz 5 February 2017