Kenya Lost Sh4.2 Billion to Telegram Shutdown in 2023

Telegram, a popular social media network in Kenya, experienced an unexpected outage coinciding with the country’s critical college admission exams.

Speculation developed over the reason for the outage, with some speculating a link to preventing examination malpractice, given that the app was only unavailable during the day, returning to normalcy at night when exams were not taking place.

NetBlocks, a London-based internet rights organization, did calculations suggesting that the eight-day closure had a significant impact on Kenyan enterprises, resulting in losses of billions of Kenyan Shillings.

The incident in Kenya underscores an increasing concern about internet outages throughout Africa. According to Top10VPN research, Sub-Saharan Africa could face a $1.74 billion financial setback in 2023 due to 30,785 hours of internet unavailability, affecting an estimated 84.8 million individuals.

Globally, a troubling trend emerged, demonstrating that 50% of government-caused internet disruptions in 2023 were linked to additional human rights violations, with limits on freedom of assembly being the most often cited violation.

Major internet outages in Africa have been ascribed primarily to military coups and protests inside the continent.

As the globe grapples with the consequences of such disruptions, the occurrence in Kenya serves as a vivid reminder of the greater global trend and its repercussions for corporations, citizens, and human rights.

Written by PH

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