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Internet blackouts continue in Ethiopia

The outage comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged to improve the country's internet service.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Picture: @Dr_abiy/Twitter

PRETORIA – Ethiopia's been offline for the past week, and nobody's explaining why. The outage comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged to improve the country's internet service.

Ethiopia's state-owned provider had cut off the country's service for three months before he came to power last year.

He vowed that Ethio Telecom would be broken up and privatised. It hasn't happened and it appears the parastatal has switched off to stop high school pupils from cheating at their exams.

Nearly 16% of Ethiopia's 100 million population have access to the internet. So the country has some way to go to catch South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria for connectivity.

But those online are the major earners. Being cut off delivers the country an economic blow.

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