In Sudan, where the government continues to use internet shutdowns to crack down on pro-democracy protests since a military coup last October, a loss of $17.8 million was recorded last year. “Internet access was cut twice in early January and again in June as protests were crushed and protestors killed. Internet access in Sudan was also deliberately disrupted by the government 11 times in June to prevent cheating in exams,” the study says.

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Following a failed military coup, a period of unrest, and the army’s announcement that it had taken complete control of Burkina Faso last year, the government shut down the internet for a total of 380 hours, leading to an economic loss of $12.6 million. Close to 4 million people could not access online services.

A 20-hour Facebook access restriction in Algeria during exams and a four-hour partial internet outage on June 13 last year caused a loss of $8 million. Over 25 million people were affected.

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“In two incidents during the weeks leading up to important parliamentary by-elections, authorities in Zimbabwe throttled internet speeds and cut internet access during opposition party rallies,” notes the report. A loss of $1.6 million was incurred in 2022, affecting over 5 million users.

While the cost of mobile internet is reducing across many African countries, the continent’s internet speed is still below the global average, keeping it miles behind the rest of the world in the move towards a digital economy.

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