Palpable anger currently reigns over Ethiopia after the country’s Internet and short messaging service (SMS) was blocked since last week.
According to media reports, the Internet has been shut down since Tuesday, while the SMS has been blocked since Thursday.
Although no official explanation has been provided by the state-run Ethio Telecom, the country’s only telecoms provider, it was learnt that the shutdown may not be unconnected with the nationwide exams across the country.
Some feel it is a measure by the government to curb examination malpractice.
Also, the messaging app Telegram, which is popular among young Ethiopians, also remains inaccessible.
This is not the first time that the Internet has been purportedly blocked due to school exams in the country.
In 2016 and 2017, the Internet was shut down to prevent the leaking of exam papers amid popular anti-government protests.
This is the first time that both the Internet and text messaging services have been blocked since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who promised reform and allowed more freedom of expression, came into office last year.
The clampdown of the Internet is said to cost Ethiopia at least $4.5 million daily, according to Neblocks, an organisation which monitors freedom of access to the internet.