Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Mobile services disrupted in Eswatini amid protests

Article Image
Mobile users in Eswatini are experiencing connection problems, with reports that the government has forced an Internet shutdown.

On Tuesday Reuters reported that anti-monarchy protests in the country had turned violent.

Eswatini's King Mswati III is Africa's last absolute monarch and sentiments against him have been rising in recent years with citizens calling for democracy and the right to select their own leaders.

Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku on Tuesday ordered a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. and closed schools with immediate effect, saying it was to minimize unnecessary movement and ensure the safety and security of residents.

MTN would not directly confirm it had been asked to block mobile services but did say MTN Eswatini "is currently experiencing disruption to services and connectivity" which began on June 29, 2021.

"MTN Eswatini will continue engaging with all relevant stakeholders and authorities to mininise and limit the duration," the operator said in an emailed statement to Connecting Africa.

On Tuesday MTN Eswatini said via its Twitter account that it had shut all service centers and outlets in the country until further notice "in the interest of safety" but encouraged customers to make use of self-service offerings on its digital platforms.

"Meeting our customers' needs remain a key priority for us. We are committed to restoring our services and connectivity as soon as possible," said MTN Eswatini CEO Wandile Mtshali.

"As a precaution, we are exploring all necessary measures to ensure the safety [of] our customers, staff and partners. We will monitor the situation and keep our customers updated on all relevant developments," added Mtshali.

MTN is run through a joint venture in Eswatini with MTN Group only owning a 30% stake. At the end of 2020 MTN Eswatini had 990,000 subscribers.

The country's other mobile operator, Eswatini Mobile, did not respond to a request for comment on possible disruption to its services in the country.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Background photo created by natanaelginting -

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.


Côte d'Ivoire e-health platform Orange Santé launched

Pan-African operator Orange has partnered with Moroccan start-up DabaDoc to create an e-health platform to help Ivorians book doctor’s appointments online.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.


Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up