Some members of the Eritrean diaspora in Europe and the United States have launched a campaign on social media over the past week, asking entrepreneur Elon Musk – the founder of Space X – to help their country’s society in order to be able to have an internet connection capable of offering effective access to international information.
Eritrea, according to a recent report published by the International Telecommunications Union, is one of the countries with the lowest penetration of internet access on the African continent, with an estimated capacity of around 1% of the population. Although, above all, young Eritreans make extensive use of VPNs to bypass the filters of the government’s Internet access network, the actual capacity for access remains extremely limited and difficult, leading above all to a low capacity for access to information.
The Eritrean diaspora community, in this way, decided to launch an appeal to the South African entrepreneur – naturalized American – after his recent initiative in favor of Ukraine, where he provided connectivity to the Internet through the Starlink satellite system and the retransmission station installed in Poland.
Although interesting and indicative of the Eritreans’ evident discomfort in accessing a free information system, the initiative is difficult from a practical point of view. Local users, in fact, should be able to receive the communication kits of the Starlink system in order to access the connection, and the distribution of these devices would not be authorized by the local authorities.