More news from Africa. This time not so good. There is talk that Kenya government is considering dropping Microsoft Azure following website suspensions that continue to rage on.
Even after a week.
According to the report, a number of government websites have been suspended for over a week, with the visitors greeted by that dreaded Error 403 message, which you can see below in all its glory. It plainly states that this web app is stopped.
Following this shutdown, the Ministry of ICT released a statement acknowledging the outage, with a promise that they would be restored:
“Some government of Kenya websites were down and the ICT Authority was working round the clock to ensure that the issue is urgently resolved and normal services resumed. The ICT Authority apologizes to its valued customers for any inconvenience caused.”
Apparently, the issue came down to a payments dispute between the government and the hosting service provider. Microsoft Azure was due a bill that was said to be running in the hundreds of millions, hence the service suspension.
Nevertheless, the ruckus raised concerns over why the government was not contracting local startups for such services, and cast doubts as to whether the intention to switch from Azure to another provider was a hide and seek game with Microsoft.
As of today, the websites have been restored, though without any official communication from either party regarding the drama.