21, April 2017
The Biya Francophone regime now has the record for the longest Internet shut down on the African continent. Southern Cameroonians were deprived of internet for 93 days following a decision by the Yaoundé regime on the 17th of January 2017. The Francophone political elites wanted to prevent the circulation of images showing army and police brutality against lawyers and students in the Anglophone section of the country demonstrating since November 2016.
The 84 year old butcher of Yaoundé lifted the internet ban on Thursday the 20th of April 2017 after fingers were raised in the United Nations, Internet Without Borders including an action from the famous American computer scientist, Edward Snowden. The decision to shut down the internet demonstrated a frightful and unloving attitude towards the Anglophone community who are now seeking an independent state of Southern Cameroons.
The disconnection caused enormous disturbances and pains and will of course have far reaching political consequences for Cameroon as a nation. Anglophones clustered on the Moungo Bridge because at that point smart phones were able to connect to internet signals that came from French Cameroon. The same situation was visible at Mbounda in the West region.
Economically, the losses have been enormous and companies based in these two regions of the country have been completely and totally destroyed. “We came back to the Stone Age. In the absence of the connection, we were obliged to physically transport our data on CD or USB stick. One of the executives of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) lamented.
The banks whose servers were mostly installed in Douala and Yaoundé were the most hit. Some of them did introduce new procedures including the use of the telephone while others invested in the acquisition of V-Sat- a means of satellite communication. So many young start ups including Silicon Mountain all witnessed three months of inactivity.
The inevitable decline in business turnover has also inevitably impacted on the taxation department. These large contributors to the Yaoundé regime’s budgetary revenues had paid CFAF 617 billion of taxes and duties over the period 2010-2014. With the introduction of a new tax on telephone communications and internet services in 2016, the government was planning to increase this pool. The poor handling of the Anglophone crisis and the internet shut down is likely to thwart these expectations.
By Rita Akana and Fru James
Cameroon Concord News