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Burundi Imposes 18% Tax On Every 1GB of Data

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For every Gigabyte of Data you purchase while in Burundi, you will be taxed 18% effective July 1, according to the new government directive.

The bill establishing the general state budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was adopted by the National Assembly in May. It institutes a mobile telephone tax via megabits.

Consumers of an internet package greater than or equal to one gigabit will have to pay an 18% tax as of July 1, when the 2021-2022 fiscal year is expected to begin.

During the analysis of the bill on the general budget of the State fiscal year 2021-2022, the Minister of Finance specified that this tax will contribute to the maintenance of Burundian roads which are currently, for the most part, in a alarming state.

The Minister of Finance indicated that the 2021-2022 financial year provides for a road maintenance fund of BIF 28 billion. This falls within the objectives of the Burundian government: “zero potholes”.

The budget proposes an institutionalization of a tax on mobile telephony via megabits. From a capacity greater than one GB, says Mr. Ndihokubwayo, the Bill provides for a taxation of 18% of the purchase cost and an annual flat-rate road charge.

For example, with the Econet –Wireless a gigabit which now costs 2,500 BIF for a validity of two days. With the new tax the user will be forced to pay 2950 or an increase of 450 BIF.

At the mobile phone company Viettel, the prices for gigabits are; a gigabit costs 1000 BIF valid for one day. With the new tax if the company implements this law, the price will be BIF1180. For anyone who buys a 20 GB package that costs 90 thousand BIF today, he will be forced to pay BIF106,200, an increase of BIF16,200.

There are fears that this sudden spike in the cost of data is likely to trigger an increase in the price of Internet connection.

Noel Nkurunziza the President of the Burundi Consumers Association (ABUCO) argues that the purpose of the increase is understandable. But where the money comes from is where the concern lies.

The new information and communication technologies in Burundi are not popularized so that all Burundian citizens can see the merits, which is very useful.

“To review the price upwards is very deplorable. In other countries instead of increasing the price of the internet it decreases to allow people to be able to communicate, but in Burundi it is the opposite,” he said.

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Russia Boasts Of Invincible Hypersonic Precision Weapons

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Russia’s enemies may need to rethink their modus operandi following introduction of the latest hypersonic precision weapons into the war theatre.

“We can detect underwater, surface or aerial enemies and target them if a lethal strike is necessary,” President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.

Putin was speaking on the sidelines of an annual parade of military vessels, flanked by naval officers in white, and also Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The Russian leader said his country had finally secured its place among the world’s leading naval powers, including by developing “the latest hypersonic precision weapons still unrivalled in the world.”

With the second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and a huge cache of ballistic missiles, Russia already has more than enough military capacity to deter its enemies.

Putin’s boast comes days after military officials announced tests of advanced new weapons, some of which come from an arsenal Putin has described as “invincible.”

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South Sudan Stops COVID-19 Vaccination After Exhausting Vaccines

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South Sudan has stopped vaccination against COVID-19 after it exhausted all its AstraZeneca vaccines it received from the COVAX facility in March.
John Rumunu, director-general for preventive health services in the Ministry of Health said they have ended vaccination in all the 90 centers across the country.
“We have closed down all our vaccination centers because we have run out of vaccines,” Rumunu told journalists in Juba on Sunday.
In March, Juba received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility.
It, later on, sent back 72,000 dozes it failed to use up due to low vaccine intake and lack of enough storage capacity.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign in April, 56,989 doses have been used with 52,226 people having received their first COVID-19 jab and 4,763 others received their second jab.
“We managed to finish all the doses before the expiry date, we do not have any vaccines remaining, and we do not have any vaccine expiring in the cold chain. We have about four percent of wasted vaccines; this is within the acceptable range of wastage,” said Rumunu.
South Sudan is expecting to receive additional 60,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in August from the COVAX facility.
Joseph Wamala, World Health Organization (WHO) emergency officer, warned South Sudan’s Ministry of Health officials to be cautious and vigilant due to the possible spread of the deadly Delta variant from neighboring countries.
“The projection is that in the coming weeks and months, COVID-19 cases, as well as hospitalizations and deaths in many countries will increase largely driven by increasing emergence of highly transmissible variants, relaxation and inappropriate use of public health social measures,” he said.
The Ministry of Health said as of Saturday the country’s cumulative number of cases stood at 10,954, with 10,751 recoveries and 117 deaths.
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How Hooza Media Saw The Potential Of No-code By Creating Their Own Podcast With 700+ Downloads

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First there was the No Code movement, a revolutionary set of web solutions supporting the development of web and mobile app for non coders. For the first time, an average and creative mind was   able to develop and operate what was a complex combination of code lines and algorithms. 

The codes ran the mobile App business for the past 30 years but lacked simplicity and coders had limited proficiency on the creative and business sides of the market.

Hooza Podcast was made possible because the No Code approach proved it wasn’t only a movement but an ecosystem that aims to simplify the access to multimedia content via mobile phones. 

Working with The NoCode Campus in Kigali, Rwanda the first no-code academy in Sub-Saharan Africa, a training program for under 30’, we were able to develop a Over the Top mobile application, bypassing traditional streaming tech while broadcasting audio podcast on the internet.

We have added Hooza Podcast to our media distribution tools with a first audio book by French author Serge Farnel “Bisesero, le ghetto de Varsovie rwandais” which is at its 50th episode today July 18th 2021 with more than 765 downloads.

The podcast service provides exclusively French content for a francophone audience in Africa, South East Asia, Europe and America. We have been recording and producing various audio books, poem, novels by Rwandan and African authors as well history and kids books. 

We believe that there are great opportunities for African authors to use audio books to increase access to communities where oral traditions are still strong and books still too expensive or where they have limited access to those books.

There is also an opportunity to create new revenue streams and add innovative crowd funding features to the OTT application.

For authors and book editors interested in joining our initiative, contact us via email info@hooza.rw

For creative minds in Kigali area looking to join the No ode Campus, feel free to send your candidacy to nocodecampus@gmail.com 

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