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Burundian Government Shuts Down Social Media Amid Elections.

Burundian Government Shuts Down Social Media Amid Elections

As elections in Burundi continue despite the coronavirus outbreak, reports confirm that the government has shut down access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Burundi has kicked of its scheduled national elections today despite the potential health concerns amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. However, while criticism of the decision to go ahead with elections continues, the government is now being condemned for shutting down all access to social media platforms. The BBC confirms that WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are not accessible without the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that conceal the identity of the user.


Over the past few months, massive political rallies have been held across Burundi in the build-up to today's elections. The ruling CNDD-FDD party led by President Pierre Nkurunziza has been going head-to-head with the main opposition, the National Congress for Liberty in a bid to retain power.

However, as reported in our previous coverage, there have been considerable safety concerns based on reports of documented violence by security officials. Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) says, "These elections will be accompanied by more abuses, as Burundian officials and members of the Imbonerakure are using violence with near-total impunity to allow the ruling party to entrench its hold on power."

The Burundian government has not yet officially responded to the partial internet shutdown. Human rights groups have warned that a partial internet shutdown will prevent the opposition from flagging electoral irregularities as well as maintaining transparency during the election process itself.

Burundi and several other African countries including Egypt, Zimbabwe, Benin and Ethiopia have been known to enforce internet shutdowns in the past particularly during elections and times of mass demonstrations.

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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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