Can improved revenue collection and tax policies provide for more democratically accountable government? The chapter discusses the relationship between taxation and accountability in the context of tax reforms currently undertaken in a number of sub-Saharan African countries. The empirical discussion is illustrated by the tax reforms in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. The chapter argues that in all three countries the tax reforms have only to a limited degree resulted in closer links between government and citizens. So far, the reforms have not provided the basis for more democratically accountable governments. But with respect to formal sector business the analysis suggest that, in the longer term, there may be a connection between tax-reforms and accountability in a sub-Saharan African setting as commercial businesses are beginning to use their associations to interact with government and revenue authorities over tax collection procedures.

Lise Rakner

Professor at University of Bergen and Affiliated Research Professor