Facebook Transparency Report Reveal Internet Shutdowns Were Rampant in Africa



Facebook released their latest Transparency report for the first half of 2019. The report focused on the nature and extent of government requests for data. However, they have expanded their report to include such as global internet disruptions and it is interesting.

We have reported a number of internet disruptions in Africa in several countries and it is reflected quite well in Facebook’s report.

Facebook highlighted 17 countries which had cases of internet disruption between January and July of 2019 and 10 of them were from Africa, which is worrying.

The African countries in question include Algeria, Benin, Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Liberia, Mauritania, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

The African country with the most number of disruptions was Algeria with 7 disruptions that were 2 days and 10 hours long in total. The longest disruption by far from the list was Chad where they had an Internet disruption that lasted for an insane 25 weeks and 6 days.

According to the Global Network Initiative report, they estimate that an average high connectivity country stands to lose at least 1.9% of its daily GDP for each day all Internet services are shut down. For an average medium level connectivity country, this loss is lower at 1% of daily GDP and for an average low connectivity country, this dips to 0.4% of daily GDP.

The report gave an example of Ethiopia which has a population of 94 million and a per capita GDP of $505, the internet shutdowns cost its economy just under half a million dollars a day in lost GDP.

The UN passed a resolution which said that Internet disruption is a human rights violation, but it seems countries all over the world do not care about it.

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