Eritrea: World´s Least-Connected Country Tech Wise

Eritrea: World´s Least-Connected Country Tech Wise

From Business Week

Three years ago, a ship carrying African migrants sank off the coast of Libya. More than 200 drowned, including dozens of young people fleeing their repressive, impoverished home country of Eritrea. Few noticed. “The accident wasn’t broadcast at all,” says Selam Kidane, a human-rights activist and Eritrean expatriate in London. At that time, all eyes were on the Arab Spring; after the ship disaster, Kidane and other expats resolved to try to change the status quo in their homeland, too. “We were trying to look at ways of giving that kind of revolution a chance in Eritrea,” she says. “Then we realized that we were lacking the infrastructure that was in Egypt or Libya. Or anywhere.”

Most of Eritrea’s citizens had no idea the regimes of nearby countries were crumbling—or that a ship full of their countrymen had gone under. That’s because Eritrea, a Pennsylvania-size nation of 6 million, is the least connected country on earth, according to data compiled by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU). For the past six years, Reporters Without Borders has ranked Eritrea the world’s worst in terms of press freedom. During the Arab Spring, Kidane and other activists began using radio signals to broadcast news into Eritrea. Libyan President Muammar “Qaddafi was one of Eritrea’s most loyal supporters, and [the government] still hasn’t reported on his death,” she says.


Written by Caroline Winter/Read more at Business Week