Coercion, Reform and Development. African Arguments
For as long as Europeans have been a major presence in Africa, scholars have debated whether Africa's struggles are best explained by their exploitation within the global system, or by the failures of domestic political leadership. Tax is no different. International campaigns have highlighted the ways in which the global economic system has undermined tax collection capacity in Africa, most notably through the impacts of tax havens and tax evasion by multinational firms and elite individuals. Meanwhile, other research has focused on domestic barriers to effective taxation, rooted in corruption and the unwillingness or inability of political leaders to tax elite groups effectively. Written by three leading experts in the field, Taxing Africa seeks to move beyond this polarizing debate, arguing that if there is to be change much of the impetus must inevitably come from within African countries themselves. From capturing a much larger share of the profits from mining activities to developing local tax systems that more effectively underpin democratic governance, the book examines how reform might best be achieved, and how it may become a springboard for broader development gains.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`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, and Former Finance Minister for Nigeria
`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
`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
`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
`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