Editorial: Revising tax policies: a vital step for digital growth


Stephen Blewett, Chief Executive Officer-MTN Ghana, has issued a crucial call to action at the 3i Africa Summit – shedding light on the detrimental impact of high taxes on the mobile industry.

His remarks echo the frustrations of many within the sector who are grappling with the burden of excessive taxation.

Taxes, amounting to a staggering 30% of industry revenues, stand as a formidable obstacle to the development of essential digital infrastructure. Without adequate fiscal incentives, the ambitious goals of modernisation and expansion, including the adoption of advanced technologies like 5G, remain out of reach.

Blewett’s plea for a reconsideration of tax policies is not just a matter of corporate interest; it’s a clarion call for policymakers to prioritise long-term growth and prosperity.

In a landscape where collaboration between operators and policymakers is paramount, Blewett’s emphasis on partnership underscores the need for a united front.

The adversarial relationship between industry players and regulators serves no one’s interests. It’s imperative that both parties engage in constructive dialogue to navigate the intricate challenges facing the mobile industry.

Moreover, Blewett’s advocacy for innovation and investment resonates deeply with the broader agenda of unleashing Africa’s digital potential. Policymakers must heed his call to strike a delicate balance between fostering innovation, attracting investment and generating revenue. Transparent and forward-looking policies are the cornerstone upon which Africa’s digital future will be built.

Additionally, Blewett’s endorsement of research-backed advocacy and multilateral collaboration underscores the importance of a holistic approach to tackling complexities of the digital landscape. It’s time for think-tanks to step up and provide the intellectual firepower needed to drive informed decision-making.

As the curtain falls on the 3i Africa Summit, Blewett’s optimism about the outcomes underscores the potential for transformative change. However, optimism alone won’t suffice. Concrete action-plans and unwavering political will are imperative to translate lofty aspirations into tangible progress.

In conclusion, Mr. Blewett’s impassioned plea for a reassessment of tax policies serves as a wake-up call for policymakers. The time for action is now. Let us seize this opportunity to pave the way for a thriving digital economy that benefits all.

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