As more African governments turn to the growing digital financial services (DFS) sector – specifically mobile money – to help drive up much needed tax revenue, concerns about its negative impact on financial inclusion and the progressivity of tax systems persist.

ICTD Research Director Martin Hearson and postdoctoral researcher Awa Diouf addressed these issues and more in an hour-long seminar hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) on February 6.

Presenting findings from the ICTD’s three-year DIGITAX Research Programme, Martin and Awa unpacked emerging lessons from the varied experiences in the region on taxing mobile money, primarily on the cases of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They spoke on challenges and opportunities pertaining to the design of the taxes themselves, as well as the politics and policy-making processes surrounding e-levies.

Watch the IDS seminar online

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DIGITAX is an ongoing ICTD programme that looks into the taxation of DFS and the use of digital technology in tax administration, primarily in Africa. It seeks to generate knowledge and evidence on these areas with the aim of advising and supporting stakeholders, including governments.