Zambia: no tax on imported telecoms equipment
Zambia’s government has zero-rated the importation of telecommunications equipment, including telecommunications masts, in a fresh bid to attract investment into the industry.
Officials also announced that a national digital strategy would be implemented and the government would review the country’s ICT Act to encourage uptake of digital services and secure investment in infrastructure and digital platforms.
Presenting the 2023 National budget, Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said the government was zero-rating the importation of telecommunications equipment used in the construction of telecommunication masts because ICT is considered pivotal to socio-economic development and a catalyst for job creation.
Musokotwane said ICT is vital to efforts to enhanced trade through the provision of e-commerce platforms, as well as to deepen financial inclusion.
“Imported telecom tower equipment will be exempted from paying value added tax (VAT). This is because the government has recognised science and technology and innovation as catalysts to development. In this regard, government is also reviewing the existing legislation to create an enabling environment for the adoption and application of science, technology and innovation. This will improve development planning, electronic communications, data collection, environmental management and agricultural production.”
Zambia’s VAT stands at 16%.
Last month, the Common Market for Easter and Southern Africa (COMESA) urged member countries to consider subsidising the construction of telecommunications infrastructure to enable mobile networks to deliver services.
The 21-member bloc expressed concern over the high cost of mobile phone services - including data - which it attributed to the high cost of setting up telecommunications infrastructure.