Taking lessons from its neighbor, Kenya shutdown the use of Telegram messaging app, one of the most popular messaging apps in the country, in order to apparently prevent cheating during college entrance examinations.
According to news outlets, the app was only offline during the day and functioned normally at night.
It is stated by NetBlocks, a London-based internet rights organization, the eight-day shutdown of the popular messaging platform in Kenya caused significant inconvenience to businesses relying on it, resulting in billions in losses.
It is stated that each day of Telegram’s downtime is estimated to have cost businesses and the country a total of Ksh537 million (USD 3.4 million) in foregone sales, wages, and economic benefits that would have emanated from the use of the application in Kenya.
According to an analysis conducted by Top10VPN,a UK-based internet privacy and security organization, Kenya’s loss ranked as the sixteenth largest among the 25 jurisdictions that experienced internet or social media platform shutdowns last year.
Kenya faced a cost of USD 27 million during the 192-hour shutdown, impacting 15.6 million people.
Internet shutdown in Africa
Internet shutdowns are not uncommon in Africa. Ethiopia has been shutting down the internet or interrupting the functions of widely used messaging apps and social media platforms during major nationwide examinations. Significant economic losses for businesses have been recorded during these events.