Tanzania Signs Into Law Regulations That Govern Social Media Use and Blogging

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Social media and blogging use in the world is relatively new and laws are yet to catch up with the new way people are sharing content and earning a living online.

This is why governments around the world have been busy coming up with new rules and regulations that are geared to regulate this relatively new industry.

Last year, Tanzania was considering a new law, the Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2017 which had a number of interesting laws to govern social media users and bloggers.

The Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2017 has now been recently signed into law and has been on effect since March 2018. These regulations apply to bloggers, Internet cafes, online content hosts, online forums, online radio/TV, social media, subscribers and users of online content or any other related online content.

The list of regulations has a number of interesting laws which we will highlight below.

Online Content Services Fees

Under the Second Schedule of the regulations, Tanzania will charge for these type of licenses and they will last for 3 years each:

Online Content Services

Application fee -Tshs 100,000 (Kshs 5,000)

Initial Licence fee – Tshs 1,000,000 (Kshs 50,000)

Renewal fees- Tshs 1,000,000 (Kshs 50,000)

Simulcasting Television Licence (streaming content on the Internet)

Application fee – Tshs 50,000 (Kshs 2,500)

Initial Licence Fee – Tshs 200,000 (Kshs 10,000)

Annual Licence Fees – Tshs 200,000 (Kshs 10,000)

Simulcasting Radio Licence (streaming content on the Internet)

Application fee – Tshs 50,000 (Kshs 2,500)

Initial Licence Fee – Tshs 200,000 (Kshs 10,000)

Annual Licence Fee – Tshs 200,000 (Kshs 10,000)

This is the application form that one should fill to be licensed as an online content provider.

There are interesting laws that have been passed under these regulations, like the fact a social media user has to have a password for the hardware used to prevent unauthorized access, which is odd. Under section 18, anyone who contravenes the provisions of these Regulations will be liable to a fine of not less than five million Tanzanian shillings (Kshs 250,000).

We have seen similar moves being made by governments from the region. In Uganda for example, the government recently proposed setting taxes on use of platforms like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Twitter and the likes.

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