The Financial Express

Ethiopia restores internet services

| Updated: April 09, 2018 12:57:44

Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests. BBC/File Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests. BBC/File

Mobile internet services have been restored in many areas of Ethiopia following a shutdown of months.

It comes after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to bring about reforms in the country, which has had two state of emergencies declared in the past year.

The majority of areas outside the capital, Addis Ababa, have had no connectivity for nearly three months now.

They include Oromia, Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regions which have seen some of the biggest anti government protests for nearly three years now.

Journalists have also confirmed that services have resumed in Tigray in the north and Harar in the east.

Most Ethiopians access internet via their mobile phones.

It’s not clear why the services were shut in the first place but the government has long blamed opposition activists based in the diaspora of inciting violence and hate speech through popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

The government has on several occasions shut down the internet in a bid to contain widespread protests that are in part organised online, reports BBC.

Lone state-owned Ethio Telecom provides internet and telephone services across the country.

Despite being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, internet penetration in Ethiopian remains very low - at just 15 per cent, according to the 2017 Freedom of the Net report conducted by US based Freedom House.

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