Comparing tax statistics – a benchmark in formulating tax policies and tax administration reforms across Africa

July 2016, by Tobias Fleckenstein

Preparations for the second edition of the Revenue Statistics in Africa publication are underway. In June, members of statistics units from revenue administrations and ministries of finance from 22 African countries met in Pretoria, South Africa. They held a consultative technical workshop organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and hosted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The workshop was supported by GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa programme on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union.

The first edition of the Revenue Statistics in Africa publication was published in April 2016. It is a joint product by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), the African Union Commission (AUC), the OECD and the OECD Development Centre. The inaugural publication is a documentation of comparable revenues for eight countries in Africa: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. The report examines changes in the level of both tax and non-tax revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and the structure of these revenue streams between 1990 and 2014.

The electronic version of the 2016 publication, along with a summary of key findings can be read online on the ATAF website:

The June workshop provided a platform where the eight countries that participated in the first edition could explain the process by which new countries can participate in the second edition and the methodology used to harmonise the data. The workshop gave an opportunity for exchange of information and perspectives.

As a next step, the newly participating countries (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda) will designate a person to be in charge of facilitating the gathering of data on government revenues, working in partnership with statisticians at the OECD and validating the data and presentation of revenue statistics for the next edition. The release of the second edition of the Revenue Statistics in Africa publication is planned for 2017. It will further enable African countries to compare tax levels and tax structure on a consistent basis among African economies and with OECD countries.

Further information contact: Dr. Barbara Dutzler