The global economic crisis is characterized by massive socio-economic disparities. Oxfam’s (2016) report entitled: An Economy for the 1% concludes that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people at the bottom half of humanity. Global food insecurity is also a major concern. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (2012), 868 million people in the world were chronically undernourished in 2012, and 1.52 billion people did not have sufficient food to meet their basic nutritional requirements. This figure declined slightly to 805 million by 2014.
On September 1st, 2016 the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) launched a new Working Paper series called Fiscal Histories of Sub-Saharan Africa. The series aims to increase the knowledge base on taxation as an instrument in the building of state capacity in southern Africa, as well as its role in shaping state-society relations in the region.
The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, has developed a multi-year project on “Understanding tax reform and state building in Sub-Saharan Africa“. Currently in its second year, its purpose is to research taxation as an instrument for building state capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.
With their varied colonial and post-colonial histories and systems, and their diverse tax systems, Botswana, Cameroon, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria were selected as the case studies, and research partnerships with public servants, civil society activists, academics and others have been put in place. The creation of country profiles is under way, and forthcoming activities include this three-day workshop in Johannesburg, 20-22 June 2016.