Facebook to Museveni: We’re not making much money from Uganda

Mr Kojo Boakye, Facebook's public policy and connectivity manager, Africa

Facebook has dismissed allegations against their company that it makes a ton of money from Uganda, labeling the information as inauthentic.

Mr. Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s public policy, and connectivity manager, Africa said that contrary to what the government of Uganda says, their company isn’t collecting a lot of revenue from Uganda.

Speaking at Protea Hotel in Kampala on Thursday in a public dialogue that brought together key stakeholders to discuss the impact of Social Media and Mobile Money taxes to Uganda’s economy, Mr Boakye said the way Facebook makes money is based on the number of people who 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 Facebooks 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. The executive director of the communications regulator Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi recently observed this.

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President Yoweri Museveni has on various occasions attacked social media users, accusing them of donating dollars to the foreigners by chatting endlessly on the social media, a point he has used to defend the taxes on social media.

“… Therefore, 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 has said.

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.


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