Government targets taxes to lower internet cost


Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako has hinted at engaging Minister of Finance on possible revision to taxes imposed on telecommunication companies to enhance efforts in reducing internet costs.

Kazako said this during a government and private sector interface for players in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Blantyre organised by the ICT Association of Malawi (Ictam).

“Government has to be seen to be creating an environment where everyone has a conducive environment for operations. Creation of an e-economy, for example, cannot be achieved if gadgets are not available or if a few people are using these technologies.


“…so I have been engaging my colleague, the honorable Minister of Finance, to see how we can look at the taxes without compromising revenue let alone economic affairs where we have to review certain things that will promote the use of smartphones and the internet,” Kazako said.

Ictam President Bram Fudzulani said the engagement was necessary because the private sector should be informed of the government agenda and see how best to support it.

“We have formed a taskforce that will play a voluntary advisory role to the ministry on what we think is the best practices to be adopted. So, whatever is happening in the private sector, we need to take it to the government with one voice,” Fudzulani said.


A 2018 report, dubbed ‘Freedom on The Net’ indicates that Malawians have to pay up to 44 percent in tax in order to access the internet.

The tax is broken down into; a 17.5 percent VAT [value added tax] on mobile phones and services; a 16.5 percent VAT on Internet services; and an additional 10 percent excise duty on mobile phone text messages and internet data transfers, introduced in 2015.

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