News Brief

Uganda Has Imposed a Controversial Social Media Tax 'To Stop Gossip'

The Excise Duty Bill will go into effect in July, but many question how it will be implemented.

In April, it was announced that the Ugandan government planned to impose a controversial social media tax on users who use sites to "gossip." The law has now been passed and the changes will go into effect starting July 1, reports BBC Africa.

The policy will enforce a 200 shilling ($0.05) levy on people using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Viber. The new amendment will also affect mobile money transactions.

The government claims that the tax will go towards paying off national debt. President Yoweri Museveni, believes it will also help curb gossip.

"We're looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently," said Uganda's Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, when the bill was first announced.


However, many experts, analysts, and citizens are questioning how the government will monitor social media use and how the tax will be implemented. Many remain critical of the government's decision as they believe it violates free speech.





Uganda isn't the only East African country enforcing new rules that limit internet freedoms, the Tanzanian government announced last month that all bloggers and online content creators must obtain a $930 licensing fee before being allowed to post content online.

Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

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Interview
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Interview: 808x On Crafting Different Sounds For the Diverse Innanetwav Roster

808x, the in-house producer for South Africa's popular hip-hop collective/label Innanetwav, breaks down his working process with artists and the importance of energy.

Reflecting on the early days of Cash Money Records during a conversation with legendary New Orleans producer Mannie Fresh earlier this year, Lil Wayne said:

"When we started, record labels had one producer for the whole record label. Meaning that Mannie Fresh produced every song on every album, from the intro to the artist."

Some labels, groups and collectives still observe that tradition. It, however, takes a producer with such versatility they could be mistaken to be different personalities altogether.

Joburg-based producer 808x is a great example of that type of producer. Being the in-house producer and engineer for one of the country's most versatile collectives and contemporary hip-hop labels, Innanetwav, 808x has to craft beats that slice through the spectrum of genres with inimitable fluidity and creativity.

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News Brief
Photo by HILDEGARD TITUS/AFP via Getty Images

Namibia Announces Special Court in Response to #ShutItDown Protests

Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has announced the establishment of a special court to deal with sexual and gender-based violence but protestors are skeptical and continue to call for further action.

According to eNCA, Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has announced that the government will establish a special court for dealing with sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases. This follows the massive #ShutItDown protests that have been ongoing for two weeks now in the country. The protests were sparked by the reported news of a 22-year-old Namibian woman, Shannon Wasserfall, who was allegedly murdered at the hands of her boyfriend. Daisry Mathias, a presidential youth advisor, and representatives of the #ShutItDown protests were all part of the recent meeting with President Hage Geingob and Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. All parties briefed media after the controversial closed-door meeting. However, protestors have responded with skepticism and called the meeting non-transparent.

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#EndSARS: Nigerian Sports Stars Speak Up in Support of Ongoing Protests

Nigerian sports stars have amplified their voices through the continued #EndSARS banner by revealing their own harrowing experiences with the rogue special police unit.