KAMPALA– The communications regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has confirmed that it met with Facebook Policy Team last week over possible taxation deal.
UCC confirmed the meeting in their weekly updates but when contacted, the commissions’ head of public and international relations Ms Pamela Ankunda, declined to give details of the meeting promising to communicate later.
“It’s premature to share details now. We shall communicate to you when time comes,” Ms Ankunda said.
Mr. Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s public policy, and connectivity manager, Africa while in Uganda on Thursday July 26, criticized government over the recent introduction of social media taxes
Boakye revealed that the company was taking major steps to fight the recently introduced tax on social media, but did not give any details.
Mr Boakye said that contrary to what the government of Uganda says, their company is not collecting a lot of revenue from Uganda. He said
Facebook makes money based on the number of people that advertise on the platform.
According to Boakye, the Facebook user base in Uganda is still very low, compared to other countries. Current statistics indicate that India, U.S., Brazil, Indonesia in that order have the highest number of Facebook users in the world.
Boakye said that the government should focus on creating means to expand the number of people on the internet in order to be able to attract revenue through taxes from multinational technology companies.
President Yoweri Museveni has on various occasions attacked social media users, for donating dollars to foreigners by chatting endlessly on their platforms.
“…some of us, myself included, either earn the dollars or save the dollars by producing products instead of importing them, but some of our countrymen donate those dollars back to the foreigners by chatting endlessly on the social media. Is this correct or fair? Is it good for our country?” he wrote on his own social media.
On July 1, the government effected a daily tax on access of popular social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter among others. Government is expecting to collect Shs284billion from the initiative.