Mick Moore to give WIDER Webinar on Covid-19 and Tax in Africa
About the event
On June 15th, the ICTD’s founder and Senior Fellow Professor Mick Moore (pictured on the left) will be giving a webinar in a new series hosted by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). He will be speaking about post-pandemic public revenue mobilisation in Africa, and will be joined by discussant Milly Nalukwago, the Assistant Commissioner of Research, Planning and Development at the Uganda Revenue Authority and ICTD Centre Advisory Group member (pictured on the right).
Tax after the pandemic: can Africa raise the revenue it needs?
While no one knows what the economic cost of the pandemic will be for Africa, or how much of the burden the international community might share, it’s clear that African governments are going to need to boost revenues to finance economic recovery.
What are the chances that they can raise this revenue effectively without a major change of policy and strategy? Where will the additional revenue come from? Are they on track to raise it?
In recent years, there has been a hopeful tone to discussions about public revenue in sub-Saharan Africa. The big question has been how far African governments themselves might finance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Aid has moved out of the spotlight. With the arrival of Covid-19 that is now all in flux.
At first glance, there are promising signs. Public revenues have been increasing. Tax administrations have been reformed. But a closer look induces more pessimism. Revenue collections have only been increasing at the same rate of GNP growth. Some revenue sources are now shrinking rapidly. Tax administrations still suffer many basic weaknesses. Wealthy Africans are often grossly under-taxed. And too many people in authority are focused on the fruitless task of registering more and more small businesses for tax purposes.
If they are to respond effectively to the crisis, African tax administrations need to up their game, to make more effective use of digital technologies, and to focus much more on obtaining revenue from the top 20%.
WIDER Webinar Series
The WIDER Webinar Series provides a platform to discuss Covid-19 and its effect on development and impact on the Global South. The webinars feature speakers renowned for their work on development issues, presenting new research on the implications they foresee of Covid-19.