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Social media tax costs Uganda’s global position – Facebook

With the beginning of July 2018, Ugandans can’t access social media platforms unless one pays Shs200. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA– Facebook has kept its stance on social media tax warning that Uganda’s competitiveness on the global scene will suffer should the country continue taxing different social media platforms.

Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s public policy manager for Africa, said: “I am not sure the way OTT is being implemented in Uganda is what works. In fact, I am pretty sure it is not what works.”

Kojo was speaking on Wednesday at Speke Resort Munyonyo, in an ICT symposium which was also a part of the commemorative activities as Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) celebrated its 20 years of regulating the communications sector in Uganda.

Kojo said that different countries world over, including those in the United Kingdom, Asia, Latin America, don’t tax social media platforms and that Uganda will remain the only country that imposes the taxes against its citizens.

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

He also advised Uganda that a united Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion people would look more attractive for investors such as Google, Facebook among other multinational companies.

President Yoweri Museveni has, however, continuously defended the controversial tax, saying social media is a waste of money on foreign firms.

Social media users, he said, were “endlessly donating money to foreign telephone companies through chatting or even lying.

“The social media users have no right to squander the dollars I earn from my coffee , my milk etc by endlessly donating money to foreign telephone Companies through chatting or even lying and, then, they are allergic to even a modest contribution to their country whose collective wealth they are misusing,” said Museveni in a statement recently.

The president also described social media as a “luxury by those who are enjoying themselves or those who are malicious…all the moral reasons are in favour of that tax.”

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