Taxing Africa

Coercion, Reform and Development
Publisher: Best Red
Availability:in stock 1000 item(s)

About the book

It has long been debated whether Africa's lack of growth is best explained by the continent’s exploitation within the global system, or by the failures of domestic political leadership. Tax is no different. International campaigns highlight the ways in which the global economic system undermines Africa’s tax collection through tax havens and evasion by multinational firms and wealthy individuals. Meanwhile, other research has focused on domestic barriers to effective taxation, rooted in corruption and the unwillingness or inability of political leaders to take necessary action.

Written by leading international experts, Taxing Africa moves beyond this polarizing debate, argues that substantial cultural and political change must come from within African countries themselves. From tackling the collusion of elites with international corporations to enhancing local democratic governance, the book examines the potential for reform, and how it may become a springboard for broader development gains.

About the authors

Mick Moore is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and CEO of the International Centre for Tax and Development.

Wilson Prichard is an Associate Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and Research Director at the International Centre for Tax and Development.

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad is Research Professor at Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway, Extraordinary Professor at the African Tax Institute, University of Pretoria, and Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Tax and Development.


"The authors apply their extensive practical experience and analytical acumen to provide a level-headed and accessible account of the key tax challenges (and opportunities) that the continent faces — as well as suggesting ways ahead.”
Michael Keen, Deputy Director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department

“Taxation remains at the heart of the expression of sovereignty. Too many post-colonial states have ignored this function and consequently lost the ability to shape policy. Taxing Africa refocuses the debate, one as much about the quality of democracy as it is about the rates of taxation.” Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance for South Africa

“An accessible and comprehensive introduction to the historical, political and economic context of taxation in African countries. It will help launch any student or professional venturing into the field of tax systems in these developing and emerging economies.”
Graham Glenday, Duke Center for International Development, Duke University  

“This incisive book, by well-known tax and development experts, reveals the successes and failures, challenges and opportunities of taxation in Africa. Recommended reading for every finance and treasury official in Africa and beyond.”
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former Managing Director of the World Bank

“A manifesto on how Africa can diminish its reliance on aid and fund its own development. Policy makers and development practitioners will find in this book a combination of powerful advocacy and a new way forward.”
Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank

“Examines a highly important and timely issue which features high on the agenda of policy makers. The book will generate substantial interest and attention among policy makers, analysts and civil society organizations”
Léonce Ndikumana, former Director of Research and Operations, African Development Bank

“Remarkable in scope, Taxing Africa will surprise, inform, and challenge policy makers, tax experts, and anyone interested in ensuring African countries have financial resources to fund economic development”
Eric M. Zolt, UCLA School of Law, and co-founder of the African Tax Institute

“Emphasizes the importance of history, culture and politics in shaping taxation, and offers new insight into how to approach reform. If you are working on African fiscal affairs, this book belongs on your shelf”
Roy Bahl, Georgia State University

“This short and well-written book provides both an excellent overview of taxation issues in Africa and a stimulating introduction to the political economy of policy reform in general. Both old hands and newcomers can learn much here.”
Richard Bird, University of Toronto (Emeritus)



Acronyms and abbreviations

  1. Why does tax matter?
  2. A new tax era in Africa?
  3. Is Africa the victim of global forces?
  4. What can Africa do in the face of International tax challenges?
  5. Extractives and extraction: taxing oil, gas and minerals
  6. Taxing at national level: rising to the challenge
  7. Small taxes and large burdens: informal and subnational revenues
  8. Does taxation lead to improved governance?
  9. The way forward