News Brief
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Uganda Has Lost Millions of Internet Users as a Result of Its Controversial Social Media Tax

The infamous tax is effectually driving Ugandans off the internet.

The number of internet users in Uganda has declined significantly since the implementation of the highly-criticized tax on social media, which went into effect in July of last year.

While the government claimed that the tax would assist in raising government revenue and help "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 at the time. President Museveni also suggested that the tax would help "curb gossip" online.


However, emerging reports claim that the tax has not been beneficial in the ways the government might have hoped, and find that it has only helped decrease the amount of Ugandans who actively use the internet, as the ordinance put tax on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The Ugandan Communications Commission, shared data from its third qaurter report via Twitter last month, which revealed the detrimental effect that the levy has had on digital inclusion in the country.

The implementation of the tax has led to a decline of 2.5 million internet users in the nation, declining by 15 percent and 0.39 percent in August and September respectively, while mobile money transactions took a dip of 4.5 trillion Ugandan shillings ($1.2 million).

Ugandans and members of the international community criticized the tax from the onset pointing out—often humorously— its regressive nature and referring to it as a veiled attempt at government monitoring and censorship.

Many online are expressing concern over the new findings and what else the social media tax could mean for people in the country.


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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Sou​​th African Actor and Dancer Sibusiso Radebe Has Passed Away

Numerous tributes from South Africans pour in for the multi-talented television and theatre actor as well as dancer.

The new year is off to a tragic start for South Africans, particularly for those in the entertainment industry.

South African television, theatre actor and dancer Sibusisio Radebe has passed away at the age of 37. following a battle with cancer. Family, close friends and his manager Wesley Mark Gainer, today confirmed the news of the young talent having passed away yesterday following a battle with cancer.

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Watch the Hazy Music Video for Burna Boy's 'Secret' Featuring Jeremih and Serani

Burna Boy drops a new music video for a fan favorite from his Grammy-nominated album 'African Giant.'

Grammy-nominated Burna Boy shares the music for the latest single "Secret," a fan favorite from his seminal album African Giant.

The track, which features American singer Jeremih and Jamaican dancehall artist Serani, is arguably one of the album's most fun and memorable tracks. The song gets a hazy music video starring the three artists in various dimly-lit, monochromatic settings. The video was directed by David Camarena.

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Listen to J Hus' New Album 'Big Conspiracy'

The artist's highly-anticipated sophomore album features Burna Boy, Koffee and more.

J Hus is back. The heavyweight British-Gambian artist returns with his highly-anticipated sophomore album Big Conspiracy.

The 13-track album features the likes of Burna Boy, who joins the artist on the upbeat track "Play Play," as well as buzzing Jamaican artist Koffee who appears on the track "Repeat," one of the album's clear standouts.

It also features a new artist by the name of iceè tgm on three tracks. Some fans have speculated that the mysterious artist is J Hus' sister. The album includes the previously released single 'Must Be,' which he dropped in November of last year.

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