The shutdown comes barely two weeks after Togo became the latest African country to block access to the internet so as to counter opposition protests. The six-day blackout cost the country an estimated $1.8 million dollars, according to the digital rights advocacy group, Access Now. To protest the shutdown, social media users have been using hashtags like #TogoDebout (stand up Togo) and also #AskCina, in reference to Cina Lawson, the minister of posts and digital economy in Togo.

Agbenonwossi said the slowed connection is inconveniencing users and is contributing to the rising tensions in the country. “We don’t know what they [the government] want and they are not accountable to anybody,” he said. “The whole system is a mess right now.”

Togo internet slowdown
Togo internet slowdown
Image: Google Transparency Report

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