Celtel CEO: lower tax on mobile usage

6 Jun 2007

Kenya’s mobile market contributed over 5% of the country’s GDP in 2006, according to figures released by Celtel, the second largest of the two local cellular operators. This was equivalent to KES111 billion (USD1.65 billion), Celtel says. The operator is calling for the government to lower excise duty on airtime in order to encourage greater take-up among low-income users. Subscribers currently pay 26% tax on each call, with value added tax at 16% and the airtime excise charge at 10%. Celtel’s CEO David Murray wants to see the excise duty lowered to 5%, according to a report from CapitalFM in Nairobi; he says: ‘At 26%, the levy is among the highest in the world, locking out millions of low-income earners, especially in the rural areas and the marginalised areas.’

Kenya, Airtel Kenya