Connect with us

Business News

Chad to continue social media ban, after a year’s blackout.

The censorship of social networks has plunged citizens back into isolation

News Central

Published

on

Lawyers in Chad, presented an application to the courts seeking an order to force government to lift a social media blackout.

The Appeals Court struck the case out allowing the government to continue the blackout.

For the last year, Chadians have been denied access to major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Viber.

Digital activists first started reporting in March last year, that access to the sites on the country’s two main mobile operators, Tigo Chad and Airtel, had been restricted. Telecom companies have since confirmed the government’s restriction orders Activists have viewed the shutdown as a violation of international law, hurting vital economic industries and depriving users of connecting with family and friends at home and abroad.

“The censorship of social networks has plunged citizens back into isolation,” says Abdelkerim Yacob of digital advocacy group Internet Sans Frontières (ISF). The lengthy cut-off, he added, has “cut Chadians out of the global conversation and curbed digital development.”

The social media cut-off constitutes one of the longest shutdowns in Africa, after a 230-day internet blackout in Cameroon last year. Gabon did so briefly in the face of a coup attempt early this year, Sudan, currently suffering anti-government protests imposed a similar measure but has since restored the signal. Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, cut signal after the December 2018 polls. It was only restored after a president was declared.

As research has shown, the censorship also has the effect of strangling economic entrepreneurship and development. Across the continent, tools like WhatsApp have become the 21st-century marketplace, allowing businesses to reach customers in urban and rural areas.

Chad’s shutdown began after a national gathering of politicians and traditional chiefs last March, passed constitutional changes allowing President Idriss Deby, who has ruled the country since 1990, to rule until 2033. The changes later re-imposed a two-term limit allowing Deby to serve two more term limits after the next polls in 2021. Deby and his regime have in recent years, faced growing public protests over austerity measures, increased economic hardship following a drop in oil prices, and violence between ethnic groups.

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the cut-off, activists convened in N’Djamena on Thursday to discuss a way out of the crisis. 

The shutdown’s impact has been compounded by the country’s already low internet access rates and costly data bundles, which has cost the economy tens of millions of dollars.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Business News

Uganda and Rwanda revisit trade talks

The meeting was aimed at boosting diplomatic relations between the two East African neighbours

Published

on

Uganda and Rwanda revisit trade talks

Officials from Uganda and Rwanda on Monday met in Kigali following a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in Angola in August.

The meeting was aimed at boosting diplomatic relations between the two East African neighbours.

The two sides were seen to be at loggerheads for some time earlier this year, culminating in the closure of their borders.

The August MoU included agreements on regional co-operation and security, setting the pace for the improvement of political and trade relations between Uganda and Rwanda.

The two leaders also agreed to “resume as soon as possible the cross-border activities between both countries, including the movement of persons and goods, for the development and improvement of the lives of their population”.

The Ugandan delegation is led by Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kutesa while his counterpart in Rwanda spearheads the opposite delegation.

Angola and DR Congo played a key role in bringing the Ugandan and Rwandan sides to the negotiating table.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Business News

Egypt resumes Nile Dam talks with Ethiopia, Sudan

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry has expressed unease in recent days over delays in negotiations

Published

on

Egypt resumes Nile Dam talks with Ethiopia, Sudan

Egypt says Ethiopia has “summarily rejected” its plan for key aspects of operating a giant dam. The country is building on the Nile, while dismissing Ethiopia’s own proposal as “unfair and inequitable”.

The comments, made in a note circulated to diplomats last week, show the gap between the two countries on a project seen as an existential threat by Egypt, which gets around 90% of its freshwater from the Nile. 

The note distributed by the Egyptian foreign ministry, a copy of which was seen by reporters, points to key differences over the annual flow of water that should be guaranteed to Egypt and how to manage flows during droughts. 

It comes as Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan met on Sunday and Monday for their first talks over the hydroelectric dam in more than a year. A spokesperson at Ethiopia’s foreign ministry, Nebiat Getachew, said on Monday the meeting had so far produced no agreements or disagreements, and gave no immediate response to the Egyptian claims. 

Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment, but after the talks, an Egyptian water ministry statement carried by local media said the meeting had been limited to procedural, rather than substantive issues. 

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry has expressed unease in recent days over delays in negotiations. 

The $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was announced in 2011 and is designed to be the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, generating more than 6,000 megawatts. 

In January, Ethiopia’s water and energy minister said that following construction delays, the dam would start production by the end of 2020 and be fully operational by 2022.

The dam promises economic benefits for Ethiopia and Sudan, but Egypt fears it will restrict already stretched supplies from the Nile, which it uses for drinking water, agriculture and industry.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Business News

Tanzanian mining firms to pay royalty fees on mineral production

The Tanzania Mining Commission set a deadline of September 15 to enforce the directive

Published

on

Tanzanian mining firms to pay royalty fees on mineral production

Mining companies in Tanzania risk being denied transport permits to ferry their products if they have not adhered to section 18 of the country’s Mining Act of 2010 (and revised in 2017), which requires all producers pay royalty fees on the gross value of minerals produced.

The Tanzania Mining Commission set a deadline of September 15 to enforce the directive.

The issue came up when Tancoal Energy Ltd. claimed that the law was punitive and would make its products expensive. However, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Simon Msanjila, says that the royalty fees have been in effect since 2010 and other companies producing coal and other minerals were already applying it.

“Tancoal have been avoiding paying the fees all these years, despite expanding their coal exports portfolio to include clients outside the country,” said Prof Msanjila. He further added that “it’s about time they start paying as well.”

The law requires every authorised miner in Tanzania to pay royalty fees based on the gross value of their produce. The gross value is the market value of the minerals at the point of refining or sale.

Violation of the directive results in up to two years imprisonment, maximum Tsh10 million fine in the case of an individual, or Tsh50 million fine for a corporate.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Trending