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Internet Shut-Out Cripples Communication, Businesses 

By Azore Opio

Speedy communication has been known to drive business and other public service delivery. Without reliable communication and transportation infrastructure, there can be no meaningful development.

Doing business on the palm of your hand had become the trend in the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon thanks to the Internet. However, all that has changed now.

Lately, some essential services cannot be delivered on a timely let alone efficient basis to consumers in the Northwest and Southwest Regions since Internet connections were switched off in the two Anglophone Regions.

While the shut-out, inspired by the on-going strike spearheaded by Anglophone teachers and Common Law lawyers, has weakened the flow of communication on the social media, it has helped to cut off businesses dependent on the Internet technology from clients.

Some banks, micro-finance houses, ENEO, the lone power utility company, cybercafés, even scammers and other private businesses are feeling the crunch of the Internet famine.

Private press organs, especially the print media based in major towns of the Southwest Region and starved of Internet connections, have had to virtually transfer their newsrooms to Douala albeit temporarily.

Since the regional shut-down, Internet users have had to go through the trouble of travelling out of the Southwest to Littoral Region to have access to the communication technology.

“I had to travel to Bekoko in the Littoral just to upload an e-mail via Internet,” said Epie Ngime, a young translator.

A retired professor of medicine said he could not squeeze money from his bank account because of the Internet shut-down.

An inhabitant of Buea, seemingly vexed by not being able to communicate via social media, said were it possible for Government to stop air flow into the Anglophone Regions, it would not hesitate to do so.

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