Kenya’s 2009/2010 budget will grow ICT.
Yesterday’s budget speech is already being hailed as possibly the best ever in Kenya’s history! Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta delivered probably the most citizen-friendly budget that is being touted not only as well-balanced, but is well informed by the current socio-economic challenges that most Kenyan’s are facing. For me, the most interesting aspect of this year’s budget are the ICT friendly measures announced, as follows:
- Tax on Televisions, Digital Cameras and Video Cameras has been removed (i.e. the cost of content generation and consumption just got cheaper!)
- Mobile phones are now exempted from value added tax (VAT) although excise duty remains and airtime is still being taxed (i.e. buying a new mobile phone to get cheaper although old stock will probably still be taxed. Expect airtime charges to start going up, eventually).
- Kes. 1.3 Billion (Kes. 6 million per constituency) has been allocated for the purchase of mobile computer laboratories to grow the use of broadband internet throughout Kenya (i.e. More and more Kenyan’s will have access to the Internet over really fast internet connections country-wide, even in the most rural of areas. There is also the potential for more widespread local content generation and digitization, as well online entrepreneurial ventures mushrooming country-wide!).
- Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) can now offset taxable income against the costs of purchasing bandwidth for a period of over 20 years (i.e. cheaper internet costs and ISP’s can be more profitable at the same time).
- Wear and tear on telecommunications infrastructure is increased from 12.5%Â to 20% (i.e. your internet costs should get even cheaper going forward, even as the TEAMS, EASSY and SEACOM high speed cables are set to already lower internet access charges significantly at the ISP level).
- Tax on software has been reduced (i.e. its going to be cheaper for you and/or your organization to buy software).