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Kenya and South Africa, only African nations enjoying total internet freedom, Freedom House says

  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 30 November 2016 - 03:11

(Ecofin Agency) - Kenya and South Africa are the only African nations to enjoy total freedom on internet, according to the 2016 Global Internet Freedom report released by U.S. non-governmental organization Freedom House. The study covers the period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016.

Kenya and SA are the best ranked among African nations surveyed in the global ranking which lists 65 countries. In South Africa, which is 25th worldwide, Internet’s penetration rate reached 52% in the period of study. An example of freedom act is the 2015 campaign on social networks initiated by students who were protesting, on the streets also, against higher school fees.

Kenya is 29th in the global ranking, despite the Kenya film Classification Board-KFCB who tried last year to delete video content online that it deemed reprehensible. However, Freedom House in its report said no website, social network or communication application had been blocked in the East African nation. Kenya, it should be mentioned, enjoys an internet connexion of 7.2 mbps, a speed beyond the global average which is 6.3 mbps. This is mainly due to its government investing massively in ICT infrastructures.

Other African nations surveyed in the report are Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Sudan and Tunisia. Morocco and Nigeria have been put under the “partial freedom” category. In Nigeria, internet users were arrested for criticizing the administration of former president, Jonathan Goodluck. The country was however praised for rising activism on internet.

Among the least ranked nations, there is Uganda where freedom on the net came down, but mostly importantly Ethiopia where freedom is almost became non-existent after the clash that opposed the police to the people of Oromo last September and October.

Assongmo Necdem

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