WASHINGTON/MOGADISHU - Somalia has internet service again, after a 23-day outage that cost the country's fledgling economy tens of millions of dollars.
Abdi Anshur, Somalia's minister for posts and telecommunications, told reporters in Mogadishu Monday that the internet link which went down on June 24 has been fixed.
“Following efforts by Somali government and the company that provided the service, we have succeeded to restore the connection,” said the minister.
The connection was cut when a ship severed an undersea fiber optic cable connecting Somalia to global data networks.
The Somali government identified the ship that caused the disruption as the Panama-flagged MSC Alice.
Anshur said the government wants the ship's owner to pay compensation for the loss.
“The outage was costing Somalia the equivalent of about $10 million in economic output per day,” he said.
Economists said the blackout had a huge impact on Somali businesses, especially the internet cafes that provide online access to many Somalis.Hospitals, government offices and other types of companies were hit hard as well.
It also affected the money transfer companies that are a lifeline for millions of Somalis who get support from family members in the diaspora.
Thousands of residents posted comments of celebration and relief on their social media sites Monday.Many posted their photos taken during the recent Eid Al-Fitr Muslim holiday.
“The internet return is the return of my business profit, thanks to Allah,” restaurant owner Liban Ahmed posted on his Facebook page.