Regulatory and tax treatment of OTTs in Africa

Mozilla, in collaboration with RIS, has released a review of the regulatory and tax treatment of OTTs in Africa. The report looks at the underlying causes behind the recent series of social media taxes across Africa. One of the main challenges is the lack of a common definition of OTTs and this means that issues are often conflated that can only be resolved when treated separately. Linked to the lack of a common definition is a misconceived understanding of the Internet value chain and the role of OTTs. To understand the impact of taxes and regulations targeted at social media, this report looks at available evidence as well as a select number of case studies from around the world. The report concludes that regulators should see the ICT sector as an engine for economic growth and social inclusion and not as a cash cow; that taxes should be broad- based and not single out the ICT sector and that any new taxes, as well as existing taxes, must be subject to a detailed economic impact assessment. You can download the full report here.