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African governments and internet shutdowns in 2019

Many African governments have used internet shutdowns for various reasons. It was led by the previous government of Algeria six times, Ethiopia had seen four times, and Benin, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Gabon and Liberia appeared for the first time in the list of governments that shut down the Internet on the continent.

In total, the continent recorded 25 internet outages in 2019, an eight-fold increase over 2018. Various governments ’claims to the reasons for the internet shutdown varied. Some of them claimed "fighting fake news, hate speech, or content that promotes violence, and some of them considered preventive measures for public safety, national security, school exams and technical problems."

Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights believes that this is a major obstacle to the free flow of information, and it may be misused in denying citizens their right to access information and freedom of expression.

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