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Tech and politics clash in Cameroon as government restores internet

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Beatrice Patterson
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The three month outage forced the hand of Africa’s largest telecom, halted operations of its leading e-commerce startup, and created digital refugees.

The disruption also prompted a grassroots BringBackOurInternet campaign that could serve as a global model for countering government internet meddling.

The country adopted English and French as official languages upon independence in 1961.

“Everything was shut down across the entire country, then they put the internet back on in other parts of the country and left it off in the Northwest and Southwest,” she said.

Cameroonians also reported a receiving a countrywide SMS from the Ministry of Posts and Communications warning citizens of imprisonment for spreading inaccurate information on social media.

But as Rebecca Enonchong, the CEO of Cameroonian firm AppsTech, pointed out, “letters surfaced from the government to the telcos requiring the shutdown.”

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Beatrice Patterson
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