GAFA tax: Companies have received their tax notice

"Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," said Bruno Lemaire. Not to mention the possible wrath of the American authorities, the GAFA have already taken the lead. Here's how.   The negotiations on the digital tax at the OECD have come to naught. “We had suspended the collection of the tax until the OECD negotiations were concluded. This negotiation failed, so we will collect a tax on the digital giants next December, "explained Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, in mid-October. "Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," the Ministry of the Economy said today. Facebook and Amazon "are among the companies" which have been notified "in recent days", assures for its part the Financial Times. So after firing the first ones, what should the French authorities expect from now on? Has

World Bank: digital technology to ensure economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa

In its Africa's pulse report published last month, the World Bank listed the use of digital technologies among the policies needed for recovery from the economic slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa heavily marked by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

World Bank: digital technology to ensure economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa

“As the pressure exerted by the pandemic on African economies continues to be felt, it is important for policymakers to create the infrastructure necessary for a rapid recovery of the economy. "Said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank vice president for West and Central Africa.

According to him, "strong policies create the conditions for sustainable and inclusive recovery, as well as greater resilience to future shocks."

This is how the 150-page report entitled "An Analysis of the Issues Shaping Africa's Economic Future / Charting the Road to Recovery" outlines the pathways for economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa.

This includes remarks about Covid-19 and its various impacts. This pandemic would have highlighted the crucial importance of infrastructure, technologies and its digital services to enable governments, businesses and society to continue to function during times when physical distancing is necessary to create more productive economies. , inclusive and resilient.

The report indicates an undeniable reality and has been highlighted several times by experts in the digital ecosystem. This is the lifeline of digital infrastructure in the still current wave of Coronavirus.

“Unlike other public health crises, COVID-19 has demanded good quality virtual communication methods, resilient broadband infrastructure, and greater use of digital products and services online. Digital services and applications are used in conjunction with data analysis techniques to aid in public policy decision making, ”the report said. 

“25% of African companies have accelerated their adoption of digital technologies and increased their investments in digital solutions. As of mid-September, there were no less than 166 social protection measures deployed across 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 84% of which concerned social assistance. Social protection programs have demonstrated their crucial role in mitigating the social impact of the pandemic, ”he said.

Mobile payments, food deliveries, online shopping, social media, instant messaging, digital tools to manage supply and logistics chains have proven to be important in the face of the first disruptions in global value chains have also allowed to cope with the pandemic.

Major challenges

Although these developments are positively observed, they have and continue to face a significant challenge. That of internet penetration which according to the World Bank is "relatively low". This especially in rural and low income areas and among small businesses. Relatively high prices for connectivity and lower quality of service are also noteworthy. A challenge facing governments as well.

“They don't have systems and equipment that allow large-scale remote work. Broadband access from the homes of civil servants is limited and digital connectivity to public institutions is almost non-existent, especially in remote areas. "

It is also a question of 49% of the population who "do not use internet services even if coverage is available".

“Sub-Saharan Africa is still lagging behind the rest of the world,” the booklet notes.

In addition, purchasing power, financial accessibility linked to the high prices of Internet services and goods, the inadequacy of Internet products, the relevance of the content, the lack of awareness and skills for the Internet. The use of digital technologies and the reluctance to use online services due to lack of confidence are noted as obstacles to the acceleration of digital adoption for households and SMEs.


How to make the most of digital?

To reap the benefits of digital solutions for a dynamic, inclusive and secure economy, states are recommended to rely on five pillars, namely digital infrastructure, digital skills, digital platforms, digital financial services and digital entrepreneurship.

Technically, you need reliable connectivity or sub-Saharan Africa risks deepening its digital divide.

There is also a need to focus on the adoption and use of digital business solutions to increase business income and productivity; a flexible regulatory framework, practices promoting competition and innovation between the different market players, transparency of information in order to access high-speed internet and addressing issues related to consumer protection, data governance and cyber security.

It is also necessary to reduce research and transaction costs to benefit the profitability of the company by improving access to new customers (extensive margin) or by increasing the number of online transactions of existing customers (intensive margin) . 

With larger profits, these companies could invest in innovation, management upgrades, or technology adoption.

Using email to connect to suppliers also increases the potential pool of input suppliers and increases production efficiency.

Sub-Saharan Africa will also need to invest in submarine Internet cables, increasing jobs for young people, for example, because “micro-enterprises run by young people are twice as likely to use a smartphone as older companies (27 % vs. 14%), while businesses run by women are slightly less likely to use a smartphone than businesses run by men, ”the report said.

This type of business would also exhibit higher labor productivity and sales.

Among the many measures detailed in this booklet, it emerges that digital technologies offer opportunities to unlock the potential of sub-Saharan Africa in terms of rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and the steady delivery of services. .