Internet Fragmentation: The Impacts of Technical Blocking on the Economy of Africa

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Case Study

On 4 June 2021, the government of Nigeria “suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the micro blogging and social networking service, Twitter”. The decision was announced days after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was deleted by the platform. Twitter says his tweet violated Twitter rules. The association of licensed telecom operators issued a statement to the public, confirming that the Nigerian regulator instructed them formally to block Twitter on all networks. The government announced the suspension citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Nigeria has since been considering an Internet firewall and in discussion with China to support Nigeria government capacity to block VPN.

  • Is the Nigerian case an example of what could happen in Africa and the potential impact on its economy?
  • Can this situation be seen a predecessor for similar moves around the world?
  • What can organization members do to help address this development?   
The Role of the Internet Society
Impact Assessment

Internet Society will work with partners in Nigeria to do a screening research paper that documents how the Nigeria Twitter ban has impacted the critical properties of the Internet Way of Networking (IWN). This will provide insights drawn from Internet users in the country. It will also look at implications of the ban on Legal, Economic and Socio-Cultural issues. It should bring the views of small and medium size businesses, tech companies and more. 

Policy Influencing

In addition, the Internet Society  and Nigerian partners will work on developing a high-level Policy Brief for Government Officials based on the findings from the scanning report and make it Public. This policy brief will analyze the economic impacts of the Twitter ban in Nigeria and develop key lessons and recommendations. This will serve the Internet Society Nigeria Chapter as basis for interactions and communication across Government, Private Entities and End-users

During this exclusive organization member event high level experts looked at the Nigerian case as an example of what could happen in Africa and the potential impacts on its economy. Furthermore, the Internet Society also shed light on the work its doing with partners in Nigeria to assess the economic impact of the ban and develop a high-level Policy Brief for Government Officials with key lessons and recommendations. 

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Date and Time

14:00 UTC

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Event Speakers

Verengai Mabika

Senior Policy Advisor - Africa

I joined the Internet Society as Senior Policy Advisor for Africa. In this role I provide expert and policy advice to the several projects. I work very closely with the… Read more

Emmanuel Ogu

Founder and President, #DearGovernments Organization (DearGovs)

Emmanuel C. OGU is an aspiring Tech Diplomat, who is currently a trained Computer Scientist, a Chartered IT Professional, an Advocate for Digital Rights & Freedom, a Cybersecurity & Policy… Read more

Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola (AhA)

Chair, African Union Cybersecurity Expert Group / Chair, Nigerian National Cybersecurity Policy & Strategy Committee, 2021

Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola (AhA), a global Cybersecurity resource is ranked #1 IFSEC 2020 Global Cybersecurity professionals’ influencers and thought leaders list, is: Chair, African Union Cyber Security Expert Group, Addis Ababa.Chair,… Read more