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Giving Compass' Take:
• The Guardian reports on millions of people in Uganda abandoning the internet after taxes were imposed on social media use and transactions on mobile phones.
• How will this impact communications in Uganda and elsewhere? What are the potential positives of this taxation? What are the negatives?
A daily levy, introduced in July to tame “idle talk” online and raise revenue, affects more than 60 online platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. To use such sites, Ugandans are expected to pay a tax of 200 Ugandan shillings (4p) a day.
In the three months following the introduction of the levy, the number of internet subscriptions fell by more than 2.5 million, according to the Uganda Communications Commission. Fears have been raised over the impact on the economy.
At the time the tax was imposed, David Bahati, Uganda’s finance minister, said the legislation aimed to raise revenue for public services. However, the president, Yoweri Museveni, wrote to the finance ministry in March urging the introduction of the tax as a way to deal with the consequences of online “gossip”.
Read the full article on the social media tax in Uganda by Rebecca Ratcliffe and Samuel Okiror at The Guardian