GIZ Study on the Gig Market in Africa
EFA was invited to comment on the Gig market for a study being carried out by the German development aid agency, GIZ. Although this study is not confined to Africa, our views were elicited to how the Gig market is developing in particular as regards taxation in Africa. EFA contacted one of the very few experts in the field, Ms Hilda Kragha, CEO of ROAM, the online careers and recruitment agency, to find out more. The Gig sector (freelancers, usually contracted online via agencies such as Uber, AirBnB, Sweep South, etc) covers a very wide range of workers – from gardeners and domestics to delivery personnel, drivers, accountants and office staff. GIZ has noted that cross-border gig-working exists (particularly for language teachers and business services), however, as Ms Kragha pointed out to us, there are vast differences to how countries deal with taxation from the payment of VAT on services provided, to the way in which staff are remunerated, and how they deal with personal income tax (pay-as-you-earn), etc. Usually therefore companies providing gig staff services only operate in their country of establishment.
GIZ pointed out that many gig workers are left to sort out their own taxation and other requirements. It is preparing events, seminars, courses and papers addressed to governments, academics and businesses on the basis of the study. In particular it will emphaise the rights of the workers and on training.
Some gig careers have attracted special taxes – for example, in Uganda influencers are subject to an arbitrary tax based more or less on the number of followers they have. It should be noted (as we have reported previously) that Uganda also taxes social media users and mobile money use.
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