The Report on the Economic Impact of Internet Shutdown is Commendable, Says UW

Kampala, 1st/November/2016, Unwanted Witness Uganda commends the center for technology at Brookings for its research on the economic impact of internet shutdown, in which Uganda has been listed among the countries that lost $2.4 billion in space of 1year as a result of Internet shutdown globally.

Unwanted Witness Uganda whose work is to advocate for open, secure and free Internet in Uganda has often emphasized that Internet in Uganda today is no longer a luxury but has become part of people’s lives presenting opportunities of multiple medium of communication to achieve development, connecting lives, increase people’s participation in governance, conduct businesses, contribute immensely to access to information online, free speech, expression and opinion among others.

Ugandans have experienced internet disruptions twice in less than a period of two months on grounds of national security. This shutdown affected 7million daily internet users and over 22million mobile phone subscribers who also utilize mobile money services.

“It is time for government to realize that internet shutdown creates a significant detrimental impact on the economy since Ugandans have embraced technology to transact business, attain education and innovations among others, Said, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer.

He added that if government wants to achieve the set out vision 2040 which focuses on ICT as an engine for development, it must refrain from further internet shutdowns in future. He warned that as long as government continues to disrupt internet services, it will be difficult for Uganda to reap the full benefit of a digital economy.

We remind the Ugandan government’s obligations to protect our freedoms online just like we enjoy them offline, and other related human rights and desist from narrowing online expression space in the country.

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