Togo elections internet access

Gabon’s election: President Ali Bongo must protect internet access

President Ali Bongo must keep the internet accessible throughout Gabon’s entire general election process — regardless of the outcome. Read Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition’s open letter demanding open internet access.

The 2023 elections in Gabon must not replicate the government’s historic acts of censorship. Too often, we see leaders hit the internet kill switch to quash protests and influence elections and get away with it. Then they do it again. Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition are calling on President Ali Bongo to set a new standard and ensure internet access during these elections. Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager at Access Now

Up for re-election, President Ali Bongo’s family has ruled Gabon for over 50 years. The incumbent has a history of shutting down the internet during times of national political engagement, including in 2016 during protests against the President’s re-election, and again in 2019, following an attempted military coup. In 2021, Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition received reports of an internet throttling during protests related to government COVID measures.

Countries across Africa must stop shutting down the internet, and reinvest their efforts into promoting democratic participation online. Authorities in Gabon can wipe the slate clean, and commit to ensuring the internet is accessible for all throughout the entire election process. Naro Omo-Osagie, Africa Advocacy and Policy Manager at Access Now

The letter signatories urge authorities to: 

  • Publicly assure the people of Gabon that the internet, including social media and other digital communication platforms, will remain open, accessible, and secure across Gabon;
  • Order internet service providers to guarantee high-quality, secure, and unrestricted internet access; and
  • Order internet service providers to keep people informed of any potential disruptions, and to take all reasonable steps to fix any identified disruptions likely to impact their quality of service.