There are many African countries have resorted to internet breaks during anti-government demonstrations or during elections. A trend that shows the weight of social networks against the regimes.

The world did not stop to wonder about the tax on "gossip" announced by President Yoweri Museveni. Although it has redefined its purpose and announced that taxes on the use of social networks should increase domestic revenue of the country, many believe it is a ploy to silence dissenting voices.

Earlier this week, an almost similar decision was taken in Egypt. Less publicized than that of Uganda, it remains restrictive social networks of the country. It provides, in effect, free time to the authorities to monitor your social network user accounts so they claim to fight the "false news".

This kind of measurement is trend in Africa where more and more governments impose blockade on social media and blogs, despite the impact not only on individuals but also on the digital economy .

A phenomenon that is growing
The examples are legion. Last month, Tanzania has decided to impose a payment of $ 900 to any blogger who wants to open a website. In a country where the daily income per capita is less than $ 10, the measure makes sparks. In Egypt, the authorities banned the calls on mobile applications such as WhatsApp Messenger or blocked hundreds of local and international websites and requested the launch of a Facebook-like platform owned.

Kenya has also adopted mid-May a law against cyber crime supposed to prevent the disclosure of false information. Countries such as Ethiopia, Chad, Cameroon, Uganda, Congo and Algeria, meanwhile, block the application WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter during anti-government demonstrations or crucial elections.

For many analysts, the restrictive law or suspensions, come show it is still necessary, the correlation between Internet penetration and instead increasingly prominent social networks within African politics. The Internet penetration rate growth has allowed the world the African digital take its takeoff with the creation of independent media, blogs, and discussion group.

While it is true that some of these spaces become flagships of spreading false news, we must recognize that they have also become a new voice protest against the powers that be. Anti-government demonstrations in Togo, elections in Kenya, anti-Mugabe demonstrations in Zimbabwe, can not testify otherwise.

Faced sometimes divided opposition, muzzled or simply non-existent, social networks have become parties disorders that want to presidential palaces in some cases regulate or mute.

One also muzzled economy
However, the shortfall is huge. Improved digital ecosystem makes the rest in the digital economy to move gradually in Africa. For the first half alone 2018 African start-ups have such raised 168.6 million, against 167.7 million for the whole year 2017 shaken by many internet outages.

While the crackdown intensifies, activists urged to "denounce" the nations that violate digital rights, alerting continental and international organizations, including the African Union, and encouraging telecom operators accountable to consumers .

For, as paradoxical as it may seem, African leaders are themselves engaged in social networks, with about 83% of African governments hold a Facebook account according Twiplomacy, which advises governments on the Digital Agenda.

The proof is on his Twitter account that President Yoweri Museveni announced the imposition of new taxes on social networks.

Source: afriquemedia

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