Taxing mobile money in Africa
A recent piece of legislation in Uganda regarding the taxation of mobile money transactions has received strong pushback from opponents. In a country (and continent) with low penetration of banking services and some of the world’s highest rates of cell phone ownership, mobile banking services have gained mass uptake beyond what is seen in most “developed” countries. Ridden with budgetary troubles, governments have recently started to look to these transfers for new revenue streams. Think tanks working on the topic, however, have discouraged such taxes due to the adverse effect they would have on the poor, as well as the negative impact policies would have on economic development in an industry that is already taxed heavily elsewhere. The future of the legislation in Uganda and similar legislation elsewhere remains uncertain.