Digital Taxation in Uganda: A Hindrance to Inclusive Access and Use of Digital Technologies

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Uganda contributes up to 9% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Research shows that the sector has the potential to contribute to the country’s socio-economic transformation through innovation and food security, access to markets such as for agricultural produce, and improved service delivery. Whereas the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 called for universal, affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020, this remains unattained. Uganda has registered exponential growth in penetration, access and use of ICT. However, the country’s digital taxation regime has become a key impediment to inclusive access and affordability, with millions of citizens still left out of the digital society. This policy brief explores the stumbling blocks to access and affordability in Uganda and how these undermine the transformative potential of digital technologies. The brief proposes steps that different stakeholders should take in order to enable universal and affordable ICT access as a prerequisite for the realisation of rights and improved livelihoods.