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Internet blackout in Anglophone regions: Economic lost estimated at Billions FCFA

The economic lost estimated to have been inquired due to the complete shutdown of internet connection in the North West and South West Regions since Tuesday January 17, 2017 is now estimated at Billions of FCFA economic analyst report.
This is due to the fact that not only have all banks and money transfer establishments been shut down in the above mention regions, but equally all business and companies that function primarily with the used of internet connection is completely out of business.
While the government continue to be silent as to the reason behind the shutting down of internet connection in the Anglophone Regions, the blackout which came barely two hours after the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium was banned is seen by political observers as a move by the government to prevent the sharing and receiving of any information concerning the current political atmosphere in the two English speaking regions.

These days in the South West and North West Regions, all financial transactions are now carried out in the neighboring French speaking regions of the country while reporters of both the broadcast and print media faced an almost impossible situation filling in reports from these regions.

MTN, Orange, Nexttel and Camtel, the main mobile telephone and internet service providers in Cameroon are reported to be acting on instruction of the government as explained by a senior official of one of the leading communication company in the country. The official who pleaded for anonymity told this reporter that it is within the governments’ rights to come in and regulates the sector from time to time. Backed by the license they issued to the mobile/internet service providers.
It should be recalled that last Tuesday’s internet blackout came after the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication headed by Minister Minette Libom Liken send messages using the various mobile telephone companies to mobile users urging them to refrain from spreading false information through the social media. Adding that it is punishable by the Cameroon penal code with defaulters risk paying close to five million or years of imprisonment.
At the time of this report, internet connection was yet to be reestablished in the North West and South West Regions as business activity and livelihood of the populace of these two regions continue to drop as the days go by. As regard the distribution of information concerning the current political situation in the country which happened to be the main reason behind the shutting down of the internet, Cameroonians residing in the two English speaking regions have resorted to the use of short message service, SMS.

Studied B.Sc Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Buea

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