A woman buys tomatoes and onions from street-sellers in Lagos, Nigeria, April 13, 2020 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).
Given the enormous impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global public finances, it is hardly surprising that cash-strapped governments across Africa—from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe—are experimenting with a range of tax increases to broaden state revenues. That, in turn, has put the spotlight on tax collection across Africa more broadly.  A recent Financial Times article discussing Nigeria’s paltry formal revenue collection rates is emblematic of the usual coverage of the issues involved, which are recurring topics of discussion on social media and in other public arenas,  including among prospective candidates in Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election. But while the question of [...]
Malawi's newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera greets supporters after being sworn in in Lilongwe, Malawi, June 28 2020 (AP photo by Thoko Chikondi).
Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s decision to reshuffle his Cabinet last week after graft allegations surfaced against several of his ministers highlights intensifying public disillusionment with the country’s direction since he took office in June 2020. Chakwera had also been facing increasing pressure from within his ruling Tonse Alliance coalition, with many of its smaller members accusing the dominant Malawi Congress Party, or MCP—the country’s oldest political party, which Chakwera heads—of corruption and nepotism.  In recent weeks, street protests have sprung back up across the country, in response to a call from Bon Kalindo, a former parliamentarian and political activist, to resume [...]
A man holds a portait of Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba who has taken the reins of the country in Ouagadougou, Jan. 25, 2022 (AP photo by Sophie Garcia).
In the latest in a series of military coups in West Africa, a group of army officers in Burkina Faso has overthrown the government of President Roch Kabore. In a televised address on Burkina Faso’s state broadcaster on Monday, the group—which has dubbed itself “the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration,” or MPSR—said that it had deposed Kabore, suspended the constitution, closed the country’s borders and dissolved the government and the legislature. The group affirmed that Kabore remains safe and in good condition.  The announcement came after two days of confusion and pandemonium in the capital, Ouagadougou, amid reports of [...]
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