As Cameroon continues a more than month-long internet shutdown in its English-speaking regions, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has expressed concern over the state of internet censorship in Africa.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established a decade ago to focus on the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa.
The foundation said it follows the development of internet and mobile services on the African continent and the significant progress in almost all countries which facilitates access to knowledge and information, as well as the improvement of business and financial processes.
“We welcome the development of social media which is strengthening citizens’ participation and dialogue on key issues facing their daily life. Most countries in Africa are encouraging and supporting the above positive trends. However, the Foundation is concerned about the blockade of the internet and mobile phone services in some countries, as in Cameroon, which impacts the lives of their citizens, especially when the suspension is prolonged for a long time,” it said.
The Cameroonian government blocked internet access in Bamende and Yaounde on 18th January in response to protests by teachers and lawyers against a number of grievances.
According to the foundation, such shutdowns have potentially devastating consequences for economy, education and health, and prevent citizens from accessing news and engaging socially.
“We hope that the government of Cameroon, and others will share our concern and facilitate the access of internet and mobile phone services to all its citizens,” it concluded.
[Image – CC Ranks]