5 African countries with the most expensive internet shutdown in 2024:

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In Africa, the trend of internet shutdowns has become popular, especially in the context of political conflicts and elections. Governments in several African countries have turned to internet blackouts as a means to control information and suppress dissent during times of political unrest.

  • Business Insider Africa presents top five African countries with the most expensive internet shutdown in 2024.
  • Government-imposed internet disruptions typically manifest as complete internet shutdowns or the blocking of social media platforms.
  • The list is courtesy of Top10VPN.

This year, the frequency and intensity of internet shutdowns have surged, coinciding with a series of contentious elections and ongoing conflicts.

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The accompanying damage is both direct, in terms of the economic and human cost, and indirect, in that it forces people to use unsafe VPNs to try to circumvent the restrictions imposed upon them.

In 2023, Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed a financial setback of $1.74 billion during 30,785 hours of internet downtime, affecting 84.8 million people.

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So far this year, the struggle is not any different. A recent index by Top10VPN measured the financial consequences of these internet shutdowns.

Since the start of 2024, 30 countries have held national elections. In 10 of these, heightened internet censorship, affecting over 2.27 billion people has been recorded. That’s 90.8% of people that have had an election so far this year, or more than a quarter of the world’s population.

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Large-scale internet shutdowns surrounding elections have cost an estimated $358.3 million to date. In Africa, Senegal for instance, lost over $7.1 million due to internet restrictions during the postponement of their election.

So far this year, Sudan has experienced a loss of $244.5 million due to a 3,981-hour internet shutdown, which impacted 3.6 million people. Ethiopia, on the other hand, faced a $130 million loss due to a 1,620-hour internet shutdown, affecting 3.3 million individuals.

Below are 5 African countries with the most expensive internet shutdown in 2024:

RankCountryTotal costDuration (hrs)Internet users affectedGlobal rank
1Sudan$244.5 million3,9813.6 million3
2Ethiopia$130 million1,6203.3 million5
3Guinea$60.9 million7,6324.9 million6
4Senegal$15.4 million1,2198 million10
5Chad$3.8 million691.8 million11
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