Experts have warned that continued shutdown of Facebook in Uganda is having a toll on civic space and digital markets in the country.
With Ugandans now accessing Facebook only Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), experts said that these come with a number of negative effects.
Emmanuel Wabwire, an executive director at Faraja Africa Foundation said that using VPNs increases the cost of doing online business which hinders the growth of digital markets.
“For a person who is using 100mbs, who would browse for a day using normal internet, currently uses VPN to browse Facebook for just 2 or 3 hours increasing the cost of internet in the country.” Wabwire said.
Wabwire said that with VPNs, it is now close to impossible to target clients in digital campaigns on Facebook because of the shutdown.
He further added that some VPNS also allow users to use their servers in exchange for user’s data which puts Ugandans at risk.
It marks seven months since Facebook was burned in Uganda by the government and Citizens are still in question to the government as many businesses are collapsing.