It’s broadly accepted that there’s a close relationship between development and access to information. One of the first economists to make the link was Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.
Increasingly over the past two decades, the internet has been a major factor affecting the right to development. The United Nations definition of this right is that:
Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.
Today, all African countries have access to the internet, though the digital divide remains huge within and between countries.
In a recent research paper, one of us (Ilori), together with colleagues, examined the effect of network disruptions on human rights and democratic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
The paper concluded that internet shutdowns have impeded the right to development and posed threats to democratic