CRAN proposes scrapping tax on electronic devices

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has proposed the removal of tax on some electronic devices to ensure affordability and accessibility.

The regulator’s Chief Executive Officer, Emilia Nghikembua, said CRAN is working on a study that will be issued to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to review taxes that are imposed on some of the devices. 

“(A document) will be issued to our Ministry so that the Ministry can exempt some of the taxes that are imposed on the devices and the hope is that we can then flood the market with those affordable devices so that we can then address the issue of affordability of devices,” she said.

On that same note, Nghikembua highlighted that the affordability of devices is only a small part of creating accessibility to the internet.

She said some regions are outliers when it comes to internet connectivity with connectivity as low as 49% for regions such as Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Kavango West and Omaheke. 

“Some of the work that we have done is that firstly we have just awarded additional spectrum to the operators so that they can increase, especially 4G connectivity… And this is why the new license conditions that we have posted are to improve connectivity in those regions,” Nghikembua said.

She further stated that the licence imposition came about as a means to force operators to take services to the most remote areas as the areas do not make a profit as expected by the operators. 

“We all know operators are profit driven entities, they need to be viable and sustainable and for some of the areas it's so remote that they just do not want to go there,” she said. 

According to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, 49% of the Namibian population still has no access to the internet.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 21:16

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