[Africa Tech Week] Uganda's social media tax fiasco
Uganda has been on the news this week as being the first country in the region to introduce tax on platforms that that offer Over-The-Top services such as VoIP, instant messaging, and video streaming.
This includes Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Viber, and Skype. It has been a week of mixed fortunes for the ICT sector as investments and partnerships took center stage.
In matters acquisition and partnership MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software solutions announced the acquisition of PropSys, a property software solution provider based in Johannesburg, South Africa. This, following another acquisition last year when it acquired MDA Property Systems, a property management and accounting software company based in Cape Town, South Africa. It has also previously been selected by institutions to streamline their local and international portfolio management.
Pan African telecommunication company Liquid Telecom this week partnered with AfriLabs, the largest network organisation of 100 innovation centres across 30 African countries, to explore new ways to support local start-ups and promote sustainable innovation across Africa. To support the work of entrepreneurs Afrilabs recently admitted 40 new hubs; its largest hub admission to date into its network making it a total of 100 hubs across 30 African countries. It also entered into an agreement with US-based innovation workspace for the local and African Diaspora startups I/O Spaces to provide its startups access to I/O’s Creator Community, Events, Classes and Office Space at I/O Spaces US Workspaces in the Washington DC Metropolitan region.
To deepen its foray in Africa, Nokia has collaborated with the natioal telecommunication company in Sudan, Sudantel, tpo trial Nokia 4.5G Pro, 4.9G and 5G mobile technologies along with Nokia's fixed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) portfolio to enhance the mobile and residential broadband experience in Sudan. Nokia has already rolled out 4G LTE in seven African countries in largest operation of its kind, worked with MTN Nigeria to improve the experience for its 52 million customers and partnered with Vodacom to shape the future of 5G in South Africa.
Vodafone Ghana has this week indicated it would be able to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) after dealing with some debt restructuring issues with the government. The telecoms firm was expected to list on the GSE as part of its takeover of the then Ghana Telecom. However years after the takeover, Vodafone is yet to go public. This, as the South African unit of the company unveiled a new base station site in Duvheledza village, located in the Thulamela Municipality which would benefit 5,000 households.
Still in growing connectivity in South Africa, Kroonstad town is set to benefit as FibreCo Telecommunications completes its roll out of fibre in the town, making reliable high-speed broadband connectivity more accessible to the community.
In Egypt Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr have signed an amendment of the national roaming agreement sealed in June 2017. The amendment provides better financial and service quality terms availing improved commercial conditions for Telecom Egypt. The latest development comes months after the telco received financing from Huawei and Afreximbank.