In the past, African government have opted to shut down the internet because of various reasons but according to a new proposal, that will have to change.
The proposal to the regional internet registry states that after the end of any shutdown, governments and any of their related bodies should not be allocated an IP address for one year.
The ban would also affect any transfer of addresses to government-owned entities in those 12 months. And if an African government performs three or more shutdowns in a period of 10 years, the proposition mandates that all services provided to them revoked, with no allocations offered for a period of five years.
The proposal which was prepared by, Ben Roberts, chief executive officer of data and voice company Liquid Telecom Kenya, Andrew Alston, Liquid’s group head of IP strategy, besides Fiona Asonga, CEO of the telecommunications service providers’ association of Kenya, were submitted to the African Network Information Center (AFRINIC).
Internet shutdowns in Africa have been reported in Gabon, Republic of Congo and Gambia in the past year alone which has seen the case increase especially during elections.
Ethiopia, for instance, ended up losing over $8 million after 30 days of internet restriction between July 2015 and July 2016 according to figures by the Brookings Institution.
According to a research done by the Brookings Institution think-tank, internet outages also can inflict serious damage on the economies of African countries.
Case in point, Uganda, which shut down access to Facebook and Twitter in February during a tight election that was marred with news that the government was cooking votes.
The country ended up losing $2 million dollars in just that period. Five days of internet restriction.