Mr Louis Yaw Afful, Executive Director of the AfCFTA Policy Network (APN), has stated that the proposed e-levy on online transactions in the 2022 budget will have no impact on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Speaking to the media, Mr Afful stated that the policy was an internal arrangement for the government to generate revenue, and that Kenya was one of the countries to implement such a levy as a way of broadening the tax system to capture everyone.
He stated that the implementation of AfCFTA did not preclude participating countries from instituting policies to protect their economic interests because such activities would not have an impact on relationships with other member states.
Mr Afful predicted that many AfCFTA countries would soon implement such levies in line with member states’ ambition to increase internally generated revenues, as countries were expected to work toward 90% liberalization.
He stated that the levy would not affect digital trading at the continental level because such transactions were internal and not done at the border, and that in Ghana, the majority of trading was concentrated in the informal sector, from which the government must find ways to generate revenue.
He claimed that the only way the e-levy could harm AfCFTA was in the services sector, where different rates applied for a Ghana-originating service provider and one from another African country.