Taxing social media won’t work for Uganda - Facebook

Friday October 5 2018

Vice President  Edward Ssekandi hands o

Vice President Edward Ssekandi hands over a plaque to the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, Mr Houlin Zaho, during celebrations to mark UCC’s 20 years of existence in Kampala on Wednesday. PHOTO BY KELVIN ATUHAIRE 

By Christine Kasemiire

KAMPALA- The continued taxing of the different social media platforms will work to the detriment of Uganda against the global perspective, an official from Facebook has warned.

Mr Kojo Boakye, the manager Africa public policy and connectivity at Facebook, said he is certain that taxing social media platforms in a bid to raise revenue will not work out.

“I am not sure the way OTT [Over The Top] is being implemented in Uganda is what works. In fact, I am pretty sure it is not what works,” Mr Boakye said on Wednesday at a ceremony in Kampala to commemorate 20 years of existence of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

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The official revealed that different countries world over, including the United Kingdom, Asia, Latin America, do not tax social media platforms and that Uganda will remain the only country that imposes the tax against its citizens.

The official added that reducing the social media users through the tax robs the country of its negotiating power and bargaining position in an evolving global conversation.

While acknowledging the need to widen the tax revenue in the country, Mr Boakye said Uganda should evaluate their cost benefits.


To draw more investments to the country, Mr Boakye advised Uganda that a united Africa, with a population of 1.3b, people would look more attractive for investors such as Google, Facebook and multinational companies.

Still at the same function, President Museveni, in a speech delivered by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, applauded the communications body for the efficient regulation of the sector, which has seen the up scaling in quality and reach of communication services provided to people.

The President also boasted about the growth in the technology sector in Uganda, citing that 90 per cent of Ugandans have access to voice services while 78 per cent access internet.