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I Survived the Internet ‘Dumsor’ of 2024

As Monday dawned and we returned to our offices, it became evident that the blackout had prompted a collective detox from the digital world. Yet, amidst the inconvenience, some couldn't shake the feeling that the outage was intentional.

March 14, 2024, marked the day when most Ghanaians found themselves locked out of the digital world.

Initially, it felt like a typical internet disruption day for telecommunications companies – we’ve grown accustomed to their unreliable services that so many of us shrugged it off, thinking, “Oh, I’m sure the network will work soon.”

However, as the minutes dragged into hours, without any sign of improvement, concern started to creep in. It wasn’t until later that morning, after a prolonged silence, that the telecom network finally communicated through the radio. For a brief moment, data services seemed to be functioning for MTN users, but then, abruptly, everything went dark.

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The National Communication Authority (NCA) attributed the outage to undersea cable cuts, a reason met with skepticism by some. Conspiracy theories sprouted like weeds, questioning why Airtel Tigo, seemingly the underdog, remained unscathed while giants faltered. Opportunists seized the moment, capitalizing on panic, and selling SIM cards at crazy prices, Classic Ghana, right? Makes one remember the face shield craze in 2019.

The disruption, which began on a Thursday [March 14, 2024], persisted through Friday without resolution. Banks, reliant on technology for their operations, faced chaos as customers flooded in, unable to access their accounts electronically – every bank I passed by on Friday had no less than 50 cars parked outside. The irony of technology being a double-edged sword became painfully clear – while it makes accessing money convenient, its failure leads to immense inconvenience. Companies reliant on the internet went on an unofficial “tech-failure” holiday.

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The blackout forced us to rediscover analog pastimes. Despite the widespread internet outage, Snapchat inexplicably remained functional, prompting questions about the nature of the disruption. I welcomed the break from the digital frenzy, retreating to the beach with a book—an activity I had long neglected. Surprisingly, I wasn’t alone; many others embraced offline pursuits, from reading to baking to hitting the gym.


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As Monday dawned and we returned to our offices, it became evident that the blackout had prompted a collective detox from the digital world. Yet, amidst the inconvenience, some couldn’t shake the feeling that the outage was intentional. The timing, coinciding with discussions about licensing Starlink and upcoming elections, seemed too convenient to be mere happenstance. While I may indulge in the occasional conspiracy theory, I’ll refrain from delving deeper just as not to bore

To not bore you into reading a long article, I am going to move the rest to the next. As a risk consultant, my next article will focus on the advent of the internet, the pros, and cons of digitalization, and the actual cost of the internet outage – quantification, and risk management techniques organizations and individuals can employ should this happen again.

Internet Outage: A Bane and a Boon.

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