More than 7 million Rwandans do their banking through their cellphones, but many of the agents who facilitate the banking transactions never declared their income to the country’s tax authority. Now the tax authority has started taking a 15-percent withholding tax from these agents’ incomes with the cellphone provider, plunging some of these agents into financial turmoil.
Following an outbreak of bird flu, many African nations have instituted bans on poultry products from neighboring countries. For months, poultry breeders and merchants have been losing revenue. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Nigeria have all had confirmed but limited outbreaks of the disease.
A 1,150 percent tax increase on used clothing and shoes (known as “caguwa”), along with a total ban on the widespread trade that will take effect in 2019, are intended to promote local manufacturing and self-reliance. Those involved in secondhand sales say these actions will ruin their livelihoods, though the government promises solutions.
A 30-year-old entrepreneur has created a successful business in her home, with a small number of employees, and she hopes to expand. Local clothing makers are encouraged to increase production, since imported secondhand clothes will soon be banned.
A collective providing transport via industrial-sized wheelchairs offers a low-cost alternative for those trading goods between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Owned by its disabled workers, it unites Rwandans and Congolese in a shared business venture.