By Hans Ngala, Wednesday, February 2, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – Internet Sans Frontieres, a civil society organization (CSO) that advocates freedom of expression on Internet has said that the ongoing internet shutdown in English-speaking regions of Cameroon – the North West and South West, has so far led to massive economic losses to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
According to a report by the campaign group, estimates are that blocking access to the internet for the past 15 days has cost businesses in West Cameroon up to $723,000 (£570,000) or FCFA 441,469,160.87.
Buea, the capital of the South West region, is known as “Silicon Mountain” because many small businesses have developed there thanks to the internet. They have contributed greatly to the development of a digital economy and are the companies that have mostly been affected, the report stated.
The Anglophone regions have experienced violent clashes in recent months following what residents see as a government plan to impose the use of French language in schools and courts. Internet Sans
Frontieres, together with other open-internet campaign groups like Access Now and The World Wide Foundation, are calling on President Paul Biya to re-establish the internet connection throughout Cameroon.
Several African governments are known to use internet shutdowns to deal with perceived dissent. Internet Sans Frontiers is headed by Julie Owono, a Cameroonian based in France.