In an email sent to paid subscribers yesterday, Zoom announced that starting Aug. 1, the Kenyan government will levy a 16 per cent VAT to be borne by the customer.
Mobile money transactions in Kenya has increased by 52 per cent in the first half of this year compared to 2020, as citizens continue to embrace digital payments as part of a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19.
from last December, when the country recorded the highest ever rate of mobile money transactions worth Sh605.70 billion.
Other insights from the central bank’s report showed that the number of registered mobile money accounts increased by six million to 67.8 million accounts at the end of June 2021 from 61.7 million at the end of June 2020. Similarly, the volume of mobile money transactions increased to 175.8 million transactions in June 2021, from 143.1 million transactions in June 2020.
The perceived growth in the volume of mobile money transactions in Kenya also spurred an increase in the country’s total active mobile money agents. According to the central bank data, the active mobile money agents increased by 63,820 to 301,457 agents in June, the highest level on record, up from 237,637 agents in the same period last year.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa service processed more than 90 per cent of the total transactions in the period under review as the platform has over 247,000 agents serving 28.31 million active customers spread across the country. This led to the payment service (M-Pesa) generating Sh82.65 billion in revenue for the network operator in the last financial year.
Globally, Kenya and Ghana continue to dominate the mobile money market as the two countries rank second and third after China in the highest mobile payment usage, according to a 2020 report by American research firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Data based on the report estimated that the two African nations contributed between $15 trillion and $20 trillion to the total value of mobile financial services transactions in 2020.
African business leaders to follow on Instagram
Business Insider has put together a list of five successful African business leaders to follow on Instagram.
These people frequently use their platform to share the best advice, business tips, updates on investment opportunities, or suggestions on raising much-needed funds. Plus, they also give you a sneak peek of what their lifestyle looks like outside of the business norm people know them for.
1) Tony Elumelu
Businessman, coach, and thought leader Tony Elumelu seeks to empower young Africans to achieve their dreams. He’s become one of the most recognised faces in leadership coaching, helping many aspiring entrepreneurs reach their maximum potential. His Instagram has garnered much attention with over 600,000 followers because it’s not only a source for inspiration with motivational quotes and videos, but it also gives you a glimpse at Robbins’s personal life.
2) Strive Masiyiwa
The Econet founder and chief executive sits on the board of multiple international organisations, including Bank of America, Rockefeller Foundation, and Unilever. He’s passionate, disciplined and motivated, and uses Instagram to teach others to be their best selves. With more than 280,000 followers, strive shares motivational quotes, updates on what he’s doing and other catchy images that will get your heart pumping.
3) Ibukun Awosika
Ibukun is an academic, astute businesswoman and powerful motivational speaker. Awosika is the immediate past Chairman of First Bank Plc. She is the former chair of the Board of Trustees of Women in Management and also sits on the board of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Awosika trains people to be brave, authentic and effective leaders. To her 240,000-plus Instagram followers, she shares some of her favourite things (such as books, scriptures, and idols), motivational quotes and inspirational images that show her balanced and healthy lifestyle.
4) Vusi Thembekwayo
Serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, international speaker and internet personality Vusi Thembekwayo is one of the most inspirational business leaders of our time. As a venture capitalist, he has transformed businesses across the continent through his expertise in leadership and strategy. His direct approach personality pushes his followers to face challenges head-on. With 390,000-plus followers, his Instagram account is full of motivational quotes, videos and lessons to help you launch a business and pursue your passions.
5) Tara Fela Durotoye
A mother of three and a successful beauty entrepreneur, Tara Fela-Durotoye lives a busy life and shares it with her 280,000-plus followers on Instagram. Her bubbly, positive, and healthy lifestyle shines through her Instagram posts with inspiring quotes, pictures of her husband, relaxing scenic images and some of her favourite books.
40 million Africans could fall into poverty this year
At least 39 million people could pass on as an added number to 30 million individuals rendered poor in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, the president of Africa Development has said.
According to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the “people impact” is the worst negative consequence of the pandemic as over 30 million people have lost their jobs, and inflation is spiralling out of control.
“The debt also began to accumulate. The debt to gross domestic product (GDP) went up to between 60 and 70 per cent. But that is just on the financial side. I am more bothered about the people’s impact,” he noted.
However, Dr. Adesina highlighted that 85 per cent of operators in the special economic zones of Africa believed that the foreign direct investment (FDI) flow to the continent would rise significantly again, while 90 per cent outside Africa believed the same.
In his statement, he explained that Africa holds the key to the global economy with enormous opportunity for return on investment (RoI), stressing that the continent has improved tremendously in the ease of doing business.
The President also called for “resilient and quality” infrastructure to make Africa truly attractive to the rest of the world after addressing the issue of poor infrastructure that has blighted the potential of the continental economy. “Recent investments by AfDB and other stakeholders are reversing the story,” he said.
Dr. Adesina was speaking at the virtual Africa Singapore Business Forum.
Kenyans to start paying more for Zoom calls starting next month
Starting from next month, paid users of Zoom in Kenya will have to fork out an additional fee for their subscription, as the government is set to impose value-added tax (VAT) on several online services to operate in the country.
“Like many companies with a growing international presence, Zoom is routinely evaluating its indirect tax collection and remittance obligations,” the company said.
“The application of these taxes to business with online activities is a complex and evolving area. Zoom continues to review such developments, as well as the nature and extent of its activities in different jurisdictions, and, based on such regular review, will start charging indirect taxes where applicable,” the message read in part.”
Zoom currently prices its lowest subscription package, which offers unlimited group meetings among other perks at Ksh15,000 (about $150), while the highest-paid package costs Ksh25,000 ($250) per year. With the VAT implementation, Kenyan individuals and companies will now pay at least Ksh2,500 ($25) more for the cheapest package and at least Ksh4,100 ($41) more for the highest-priced package.
Zoom is not the only digital service to recently fall under the microscope of the Kenyan taxman. Last year, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) introduced the Finance Act 2020 Digital Service Taxes (DST) on income from services provided through the digital marketplace in Kenya, which is charged at 1.5 per cent of the gross value of a transaction (exclusive of VAT). The regulation requires individuals and firms that supply or expects to supply taxable goods and services worth at least Ksh5 million ($50,000) in a year to register for VAT. However, Kenyans registered for VAT will be exempted from paying the tax.
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