Social Media Tax

Social Media Tax Cuts Ugandan Internet Users by Five Million, Penetration Down From 47% to 35%

By Juliet Nanfuka |

The tax which the Uganda government introduced on use of social media last July has slashed the number of internet users in the country by five million in three months, according to figures from the industry regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). The numbers also show that revenue from the tax is far from the windfall which government had predicted…

Zambia Introduces Daily Tax on Internet Voice Calls

By Daniel Mwesigwa |

The government of Zambia is set to introduce a daily levy of 30 Ngwee (USD 0.03) on internet voice calls. In a press statement issued after a cabinet meeting on August 12, 2018, the government spokesperson said internet calls through platforms such as Viber, WhatsApp and Skype “threaten the telecommunications industry and jobs” in licenced telecom companies such as…

Why Uganda’s Government Should Take a Different Path to Social Media and Mobile Money Taxation

Statement |

There has been widespread concern over newly introduced levies on social media access and mobile money transactions in Uganda, which are widely considered a threat to internet access and affordability, as well as to freedom of expression and access to information. The effects of the taxes that took effect on July 1, 2018, were the focus of discussions at a recent stakeholder dialogue  organised by the Collaboration on…

Dialogue on Social Media and Mobile Money Taxation in Uganda

CIPESATalks |

The evolution of the digital economy in Uganda over the last 20 years has broken barriers associated to geography and time and thus enabled information flows critical for business processes, innovation, entrepreneurship, civic participation, learning and research, and government service delivery.

Following concerns on the growing public debt bill, and a constrained tax base, the Uganda government introduced a raft…

African Human Rights Commission Denounces Stringent Internet Regulation in East Africa

By Daniel Mwesigwa and Edrine Wanyama |

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has denounced moves by countries in East Africa to slap stringent regulations on internet access and use. The commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Lawrence Mute, and the Country Rapporteur responsible for monitoring the human rights situation in Kenya and Tanzania,…

Uganda Blocks Access to Social Media, VPNs and Dating Sites as New Tax Takes Effect

By Juliet Nanfuka |

As of midnight on July 1, 2018, telecom companies in Uganda blocked access to social media platforms for all users and required them to pay a newly introduced Over-The-Top” (OTT) tax before regaining access. The tax resulted from a March 2018 presidential directive for social media to be taxed to raise resources “to cope with the consequences” of…

Oral Statement Delivered At The United Nations Human Rights Council

Joint Statement |
 

Thank you, Mr. President.

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Derechos Digitales, and the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET).

As organisations committed to maintaining the use of the internet for human rights, social justice and sustainable development, we are concerned about…

Uganda: New Social Media Tax will Push Basic Connectivity Further Out of Reach for Millions

By Alliance For Affordable Internet |

Uganda’s government has passed a new tax that will require citizens to pay UGX 200 (US$0.05) per day in order to use messaging and voice over-the-top services (OTTs), including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Viber. The tax, slated to take effect on 1 July, will push the cost of basic internet access further out of reach…

Uncertainty Over How Uganda’s New Social Media Tax Will be Collected

By Juliet Nanfuka |

On May 30, 2018, Uganda’s parliament passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018, which will see users of Over-The-Top (OTT) services that include messaging and voice calls via Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype and Viber pay a mandatory fee of UGX 200 (USD 0.05) per day of use. In another move that could hit affordability, stifle innovation, and undermine the role…