Red Pepper Uganda

Social Media Tax Bad For Digital Inclusion

Over the Top Tax – OTT, a tax on the use of social media has been described as a negative occurrence in Uganda the that in turn works against digital inclusion. This is according to city Tech Media and Telecoms Lawyer Silver Kayondo.

Uganda has since the start of July blocked access to media such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter unless users pay a daily tax of 200 Shillings. Despite the public uproar, the government has maintained the taxes.

But Kayondo says that that the charges work against international instruments in which internet access is enshrined as a basic human right, to which Uganda is a signatory.

He, however, adds that while Uganda is a signatory to several international legal instruments on digital inclusion, Ugandan laws remain sovereign.

Juliet Nanfuka, from the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), says however that the social media tax excludes vulnerable groups such as women and youth whose opportunities to successful market and growth of business are now limited by the new taxes.

 

-URN

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