Malawians will have to fork out 10% more for internet
Telecommunications service providers in Malawi have increased the price of data bundles by 10% as the country’s economic situation worsens.
In May 2022 the country’s reserve bank devalued the local currency by 25%. Now, as the pressure of inflation takes hold, operators say they have little choice but to increase their rates.
Both Airtel Malawi and Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) have adjusted their prices.
Airtel Malawi released a statement confirming the increase, “The company has increased price of internet including social media bundles by 10%.”
Clarence Gama, president of the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) said, “There is much that needs to be done to make internet affordable in the country. This includes investment into connectivity projects that will help reduce the cost of bringing internet into Malawi and a review of some taxes that are applied to the procurement of these services.”
Malawi’s Minister of Information and Digitalisation Gospel Kazako said the government has noted the increase and it acknowledges the state of the economy.
However, Kazako added that he is confident of a reduction in prices once the government has concluded current negotiations over internet connectivity with neighbouring countries.
The Minister said, “The government is aware that the absence of affordable internet will have a negative impact on our desire to create a digital economy.”
Last week, ICTAM and the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry petitioned the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to review taxation policies with regards to the 2023/2024 National Budget.
Currently Malawi charges 17.5% value added tax (VAT) on mobile phones, 16.5% on internet services and 10% excise duty on messages and internet data transfers, among other taxes.