Weekly digest for 23 July 2021
KEY READING FOR THE WEEK
This week’s main story is from Speedtest by Ookla comparing mobile broadband speeds around the world. The latest results are up until the end of June 2021. For Africa, the results are a mixed bag: the highest scoring African country is South Africa at position 56 out of 137. South Africa lost 3 places compared to the previous month. Another African country worth noting is Uganda, which lost 5 places to position 127 out of 137 countries. For Uganda, this shows another aspect of the higher taxes imposed on the sector: higher taxes means higher prices, leads to less usage, which means less money for investment in the sector, which leads to slower download speeds.
OTHER WEEKLY NEWS FROM AROUND AFRICA
- Mozambique: Vodacom and Tmcel have reached an agreement over their interconnection dispute. Tmcel has agreed to pay an initial amount of US$10 million and then a monthly debt repayment plan.
- Nigeria: As of 22 July 2021, 132 countries have committed to the OECD’s corporate tax plan, including a proposed minimum of 15%. Nigeria is one of the few countries that have not signed the agreement. ActionAid Nigeria has come out in support of the Nigerian government’s decision to not sign the agreement. ActionAid’s rationale is nonsensical: they object to the fact that the corporate minimum tax rate is too low at 15% and “inadequate to fund Nigeria’s budget deficit”. What ActionAid doesn’t understand is that the proposal is for a minimum tax – if Nigeria wants a higher tax rate that’s fine. Of course, that would make Nigeria particularly unattractive to companies and likely reduce investment in the country, ultimately leading to less tax revenue in any case.
- Vodacom: Vodacom released its financial results for the year until March 2021, showing that data traffic increased by 55.6% and subscribers increased by 8.2 million across the continent.
- Ethiopia: Orange has officially committed to participating in the privatization of Ethio Telecom.
- Tanzania: The Finance and Planning Ministry has been instructed by the President to investigate removing levies on mobile money transactions.