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We Are Suffering From E-levy — E-Commerce Association Cries

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Mobile money booth

The implementation of the 1.5 percent electronic transaction levy popularly known as the E-levy is stifling the emerging e-commerce industry, and digital finance ecosystem, the E-Commerce Association of Ghana (eCAG) has said.

The association wants the government to consider the 1.5 percent E-levy on their activities.

The 1.5 percent E-levy on mobile money, online shopping, and other digital transactions, according to the E-Commerce Association of Ghana, is eroding gains made in building a buoyant e-commerce industry, financial inclusion, and a digitalized economy.

The association said the E-levy has increased the cost of doing business among its members, pushing operators in the E-commerce sector to consider relocating to other West African countries with favourable tax regimes.

According to the Executive Director of the E-Commerce Association of Ghana, Paul Asinor, “We do not want an instance where the government will keep increasing the E-levy and see it as an easy way to increase revenue. We want to stop it now in the budget because it will affect our business. If the cost of doing business continues to increase, businesses will gradually reduce their investment and look outside where operations are less costly.”

He appealed to the government to engage members in the sector before reviewing the impact of e-levy in the mid-year budget presentation.

He expressed worry that the Ministry of Finance did not engage key stakeholders in the e-commerce sector before introducing a sensitive tax policy such as the E-levy.

“We actually think that government must engage us to discuss a number of issues affecting the sector. This e-commerce sector is a vibrant area that can fetch the government a lot of income if activities in the areas are streamlined,” he said to Joy News.

He stated that they will be made expensive; which will discourage people from using digital and online payment platforms.

He indicated that there should be a national policy that will build the e-commerce sector to rake in the needed revenue for the government.

“That perception is a myth because online businesses are easily monitored and made to pay taxes. I have just told you about e-levy and how it affects our business.

“We are aware of the low incomes that online workers receive, and so we are engaging the relevant stakeholders. We will finalize our recommendations soon for government to consider in designing a sustainable policy,” he stressed.

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The reclusive owner of OnlyFans rakes in more than $500 million from the adult website in less than 2 years, report says

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Cardi B performs at the Wireless Festival in London in July.

The adult content plaform’s viewers jumped by 128% and the number of creators rose by a third.Revenues soared from $358m to $932m last year, according to the annual report seen by Bloomberg.

The owner of OnlyFans has been paid more than $500 million since 2020, Bloomberg reported.

The Ukrainian-American businessman Leonid Radvinsky received dividends amounting to $284m in 2021 and $233m after November 2021, the company stated in its annual report, which was seen by Bloomberg.

The adult entertainment site enjoyed a boom in its user base last year, with two million content creators raking in almost $4bn in 2021, per the report. It also features non-adult content from celebrities such as rapper Cardi B and DJ Khalid for paying fans.The number of content viewers jumped by 128% year-on-year, while the number of content creators rose by 34%. The platform, which takes a 20% commission fee from creators, more than doubled its revenue from $358m in 2020 to $932m in 2021, Bloomberg reported.

Pre-tax profits also soared from $61m in 2020 to $433m in 2021 as users flocked to the platform during the pandemic.

“We are empowering creators to monetize their content and have real control over it,” Amrapali Gan, chief executive of OnlyFans, told the BBC. Gan, who had been at the company since 2020, took over as CEO in December 2021 after Tim Stokely stepped down. The London-based company was founded in 2016 by Stokely before he sold a 75% stake to Radvinsky, 40, two years later.

The Florida-based business figure keeps a low public profile but has run porn websites for more than two decades through his company Cybertania, the Daily Telegraph has reported.In August last year the platform announced it would ban sexually explicit content but reversed the decision six days later following an outcry from creators. The company laid off an unspecified number of employees last month to reshape certain teams, it told Insider in a statement.

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Ghana Cedi declared worst performing currency worldwide by Bloomberg

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Cedi tagged the worst performing currency worldwide

The latest report by Bloomberg has tagged the Ghana Cedi as the worst performing currency in the world currently.

According to Bloomberg, the Ghana Cedi is currently in tatters, haven depreciated by over GHC2 in the last week, compounding the ever-depreciating currency against major foreign currencies.

The Cedi fell 1.6% on Tuesday, August 16, extending this year’s slump to 35% and making it the world’s worst performer among 150 currencies tracked, after bankrupt Sri Lanka’s rupee,” Bloomberg indicated.

Bloomberg tracked the performance of 150 currencies in the world and the Cedi placed last in terms of performance since the beginning of the year.

In less than 8 months, the Cedi has come under intense exchange rate pressure due to its continuous depreciation to some major international currencies such as the Dollar, Pound and Euro.

According to data put out by the Bank of Ghana, the Cedi began the year at $1.00 to GH¢6.02.

Just a month ago, one could exchange $1.00 for GH¢7.43, and in less than 20 days, traders needed an average of GH¢9.37 to buy $1.00.

This means the Cedi has lost most than GH¢3.30 of its value to the dollar in less done 8 months.

Ghana’s economy is struggling to survive as inflation continues to dictate its fall. The implications of the continuous fall of the Cedi is already being felt by the ordinary Ghanaian.

Ratings from Fitch and S&P also saw the Cedi rating falling further to junk this month.

Following the current woes of the economy, the Central Bank is holding an emergency Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today. The BoG is expected to “review recent developments in the economy” during the meeting.

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Togo: Cement-Maker Cimtogo Raises Its Prices By 15%

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Cimtogo, a cement company, has upped its delivery costs from its plants in Lomé and Kara to distribution points. The measure became effective on August 1, 2022.

The company attributed the decision to the “recent measures that led to the increase of oil products in the country.” Its commercial directorate added that the price increase will “help ensure the continuity of carriers’ activities in the best conditions.”

It should be noted that Cimtogo’s cement is currently sold at CFA81,000 a ton throughout the country.

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