East Africa outages highlight Africa’s Internet vulnerabilities

Recent damage to undersea cables supplying internet to African countries has heightened concerns about the continent’s network vulnerabilities. This marks the third major disruption since the beginning of the year, 2024.

Internet users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda experienced varying levels of disruption between Sunday 12 May 2024 and Monday 13 May 2024 due to cuts in the EASSy (East Africa Submarine System) and Seacom cables. Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar were also affected, according to Cloudflare, a US internet data company.

Kenya’s ICT regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya, announced recovery efforts were underway, but warned of possible slow speeds in the coming days. Telecom operator Safaricom plans to source additional capacity from other undersea cable partners to mitigate the connectivity shortfall. MTN and Telkom, major South African telecom companies operating in East Africa, are also working to minimize the disruption.