Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have increased taxes levied on calls originating from Kenya forcing Safaricom to increase its calling rate in the region from Kshs 18 to Kshs 25. This is the second time in many years that Safaricom has reacted to decisions by EA to increase call tariffs in the region.
At a time when the EA is working towards removing trade barriers in the region I did not expect them to impose tariffs that create the barriers they intend to eliminate. EA should realize that we are living a time when trade is conducted 90% via virtual communication mostly through voice calls and text messages as majority of our people are not yet connected to the Internet.
EA should also know that Kenya plays a great deal in the businesses activities across the region hence barring them from communicating effectively with their business partners and customers in other EA countries is locking the flow of money that should have easily come from Kenya.
Since calling EA is getting expensive, 500% more expensive than calling US, UK, India, etc, we as a people need to embrace the cheap alternatives like making calls and sending messages via Skype, Hangout and Whatsup that are basically free so that we can teach both the telecos and EA a lesson.
Both the telecos and the EA governments are not serious to impose such yester years levies on voice calls.