In countries all over the world, the rise in social media use is still a largely unregulated place and governments have been playing catch up on the laws front. That’s why we have seen a number of laws being passed which target people who get their income from online activities.
Now it seems Uganda wants to do that too, from one valanchee on Twitter. According to him, apparently the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) now requires bloggers and other online content producers not only to register with them, but also pay an annual fee of $20, which is quite interesting.
However, he iterates that it is still not clear whether bloggers who are on Facebook or Twitter or even ‘free’ blogging platforms like WordPress would fall within the UCC’s gamut which has been ambiguously categorized as ‘Online Data Communications Services.’
If you check the UCC’s public notice about registration of online data communication and broadcast service providers, they are quite ambiguous on online data communication services part. “The purpose of this public notice therefore, is to inform all persons currently offering or desirous of offering online data communication services, that in exercise of its powers under section 6(e) of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission classified online data communication services as a communication services for which one requires an authorization from the Commission.”
If this is the case, bloggers for example would have to deal with the OTT (Over The Top) tax Uganda employed recently (UGX 72,000 annually or $19.20) and the UGX 75,000 ($20) for the alleged annual fee. If they do this, they would follow Tanzania’s footsteps where bloggers pay way more to have licences to operate