Research in Brief 121

Consumer-level mobile money taxes are particularly controversial, and have sparked large-scale protests – prompting policy revisions in various countries, including Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin. Ghana’s electronic transfer levy (e-levy) followed this trend of public dissent, and triggered the country’s first budgetary rejection since 1981. Not surprisingly, the trend in mobile money usage in Ghana showed a sharp decrease in overall volume and value of mobile money transactions after implementation of the tax. This was followed by a gradual rise back to usage before the e-levy, coinciding with a reduction in the rate. The strong reaction and trend in mobile money usage after revision make understanding what lies behind public perceptions and behaviour especially important for informing the ongoing debate within Ghana and the region.


Mary Abounabhan

Mary Abounabhan is a Research Officer for the DIGITAX programme. Her research focuses on the the appropriateness and effectiveness of digital financial services taxes and their development impacts. She has completed her Masters of Globalisation, Business, and Development at the Institute of Development Studies, focusing her research on the Moral Economy of social media taxation in Lebanon.

Awa Diouf

Awa is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the ICTD and an economist specialising in public finance in developing and transition countries. She holds a doctorate from the Université Clermont Auvergne in France, and the Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR), a think tank based in Senegal.

Fabrizio Santoro

Fabrizio is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Research Lead for the second component of the ICTD's DIGITAX Research Programme. His main research interests relate to governance, public finance, and taxation, with a strong focus on impact evaluation methodologies and statistical analysis. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex.

Carlos Sakyi-Nyarko

Carlos Sakyi-Nyarko is a Senior Policy and Strategy Consultant at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and a call-off Technical Expert on Responsible Finance for the Better than Cash Alliance (BTCA), United Nations Capital Development Fund. He holds a PhD in Economics from Loughborough University.

Celeste Scarpini

Celeste Scarpini is a Research Officer at the ICTD, and a PhD student at the Department of Economics, University of Sussex. Her main research interests relate to tax administration in sub-Saharan Africa, from technology adoption to data management and revenue collection strategies.
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