New African tax database
October 8th, 2010
October 8th, 2010
A new database of public revenues is now available from the African Economic Outlook, a joint project from the OECD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the UN Development programme (UNDP.) It is here.
It is astonishing that the data on African (and other developing countries’) revenue sectors has been so poor, for so long – so it is extremely welcome to see this new source become available, which could become a valuable tool for researchers.
The main finding from the data is that African countries, across all income levels, have gradually increased their level of collected fiscal revenues over the past two decades. However, the rise has largely been fueled by rises in the price of commodities, which don’t have a good track record in promoting development, and the global economic crisis is expected to impact negatively on the fiscal revenue performance of African countries in 2009.
The links are still slightly jumbled, so we present the main tables here:
The next data update is due in March 2011. For excel sheets, click here. The accompanying text adds another welcome note that:
“Policy options include cracking down on fraud and evasion, removing tax preferences, particularly for large corporations and traders, dealing with abuses of transfer pricing techniques by multinationals and taxing extractive industries more fairly and more transparently. African governments should actively promote mutual learning to tap the continent’s best practices in tax collection. The international community has a key role to play in enhancing administrative capacity.”
For those interested in policy options in the area of tax and development, they would also be well advised to note this important new book from expert Wilson Pritchard at the Institute for Development Studies in the UK, entitled Taxation and State Building: Towards a Governance Focused Tax Reform Agenda.