Ethiopia ends online blackout

Ethiopia online blackout
1 min read

The Ethiopian government has reportedly ended a three-month online blackout, following the appointment of its new prime minister earlier this month.

According to a report by CNBC Africa, mobile and broadband internet services shut down in December in many regions outside the capital that were hit by unrest that threatened the ruling coalition’s hold on country. However, the government has denied this, and the communications minister and the state-run telecoms monopoly did not immediately reply to requests for comments by CNBC Africa.

Unlike in other African countries where the majority of internet users access the web through mobile phones, internet cafes are still widely used in Ethiopia because smartphones remain expensive and mobile data costs are high.

Africa’s second-most populous nation has clocked the region’s fastest economic growth rates over the past decade but it has among the region’s lowest internet penetration rates.

People in Oromiya, which surrounds the capital, in the Amhara region, and in the eastern city of Harar and nearby Dire Dawa, told Reuters internet access and mobile 3G services resumed about a week ago. (Additional reporting and writing by Maggie Fick Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Currently, the country also remains under a state of emergency, which was imposed a day after Abiy Ahmed’s predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in February.