Facebook to hold back their planned Uganda Investments over Social media tax

Facebook being one of the largest social media sites owning a number of other social media platforms including: Whatsapp and Instagram has warned they will hold back infrastructure investments they were planning for Uganda because it will be affected by the country’s tax on social media use which became effective on 1st July, 2018 with a daily tax of UGX200 per day for one to be able to access Facebook and other social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twiter, Instagram, Yahoo Messenger and YouTube among others.
Mr. Kojo Boakye, the Facebook Africa public policy manager, said during a talk to deliberate on the effect of the new tax, they have informed Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) of their plans to take their investments elsewhere because the model on which they based them would be affected by the UShs200 (Sh5) daily social media tax, he said.
However, Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, on Tuesday retaliated by saying that though they met Facebook officials to discuss the social media tax, they did not indicate they would take their planned investments somewhere.
“We talked about social media tax but we did not talk about anything to do with them taking their investments elsewhere. Even in Europe, there is social media tax and they as Facebook have not taken away their investments,” Mutabazi said.
Facebook is in the verge of offering free Internet access for all their sites in about 42 Africa countries under the Free Basics initiative, will see mobile phone users access Facebook and other linked sites at no cost. However, Mr Boakye did not indicate which specific investment they will be withdrawing from Uganda. A study carried out by Research ICT Solutions found out that Ugandans spend a monthly average of UShs9,000 on voice calls, messaging and the Internet.
Many business are on facebook including our very own company Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris , so it would be bad news not only for investors but also business entreprenuers in Uganda, the government has to strongly reconsider otheriwse this is another sinking ship.
Justin Ekaru- New Reporter- Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris