Africa Rising . Inequalities and the essential role of fair taxation.

This report investigates the issue of income inequality in eight sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe). While there is growing public recognition that inequality is the issue for our time – both globally and in sub-Saharan Africa – there is little definitive analysis of income inequality trends on the continent. This report seeks to contribute in this area, looking at whether income inequality is, in fact, rising and in what context this is occurring. In particular, this report seeks to locate an analysis of tax systems in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of these economic inequalities, given the primary importance of national tax systems in redistributing wealth.

The report looks at national taxation systems and international taxation issues – and, critically, the relationship between them. In this way it reveals how the enabling environment for tax dodging impacts on national tax systems in sub-Saharan Africa. It also dissects the trends in revenue generation, tax equity and tax reforms across the eight countries. It has a special focus on the experiences of two countries – Kenya and South Africa – which have two of the stronger tax systems in sub-Saharan Africa but which also have extensive shortcomings in the area of tax equity.

The evidence gathered in this report shows that increasing income inequality should be of huge concern to governments in at least six out of the eight countries – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Malawi. In Ghana and Nigeria, income inequality is rising strongly. In Nigeria, between 1986 and 2010, there has been a 75% increase in the concentration of income in the country. In Ghana there has been a 50% increase in the concentration of income over an 18-year period. In Zambia income inequality is now at its highest levels since data was collected. South Africa has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world and one which keeps increasing. The sharp rise in the incomes of the richest 5% is driving the increase at the top end. Yet there is no evidence of progress in tackling this inequality, or even much preoccupation with it, in South Africa’s new National Development Plan.

Socioeconomic Inequalities in Child Mortality: Comparisons across Nine Developing Countries.

This paper generates analyses survey data on inequality among infants and children aged under five years by consumption in Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana , Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan , the Philippines , South Africa and Viet Nam. The data were obtained from the Living Standards Measurement Study and the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey . Mortality rates were estimated directly where complete fertility histories were available and indirectly otherwise. Mortality distributions were compared out for all pairwise intercountry comparisons, standards, errors, were calculated for the concentration indices; and tests of intercountry differences in inequality were performed .

Inequalities In Health Care Use and Expenditures: Empirical Data from Eight Developing Countries and Countries In Transition.

This paper summarizes eight country studies of inequality in the health sector. The analysis uses household data to examine the distribution of service use and health expenditures. Each study divides the population into income quintiles, estimated using consumption expenditures. The studies measure inequality in the use of and spending on health services. Richer groups are bound to have a higher probability of obtaining care when sick , are more likely to be seen by a doctor, and have a higher probability of reviving medicines when they are all ill , than the poorer groups . The richer also spend more in absolute terms on care. In several instances, there are unexpected findings. There is no consistent pattern in the use of private providers. Richer households do not devote a consistently higher percentage of their consumption expenditures to health care. The analyses indicate that intuition concerning inequalities could result in misguided decisions .It would thus be worthwhile to measure inequality to inform policy making. Additional research could be performed using common methodology for the collection of data and applying more sophisticated analytical techniques. These analyses could be used to measure the impact of health policy changes in inequality.

Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in Education

This paper provides a broad overview of the economic dimensions of the educational situation in South Africa a decade after the political transition. An important question is whether changes since the transition have substantially ameliorated the role of race in education. Census and survey data shat that quantitative educational attainment differentials (years of education) have been substantially reduced, by qualitative differentials remain larger. Despite massive resource shifts to black schools, overall matriculation results did not improve in the post-apartheid period. Thus the school system contributes little to supporting the upward mobility of poor children in labor markets.

Beyond fragmentation and towards universal coverage: insights from Ghana, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania

The aim of this analysis is to explore the extent of fragmentation within the health systems of three African countries (Ghana, South Africa and the United Rpublic of Tanzania); how this developed ;how each country has attempted to address the equity challenges arising from this fragmentation ans what remains to be done to promote universal coverage. The analysis suggests that South Africa has made the least progress in addressing fragmentation, while Ghana appears to be pursuing a universal coverage policy in a more coherent way. To achieve universal coverage, health systems must reduce their reliance on out-of-pocket payments, maximize the size of risk pools, and resource allocation mechanisms must be put in place to either equalize risks between individual insurance schemes or equitably allocate general tax (and donor) funds. Ultimately, there needs to be greater integration of financing mechanisms to promote universal cover with strong income and risk cross-subsidies in the overall health system

Thematic Area(s): ,

Structural Transformation and the Agro-food System Challenges for South Africa.

This presentation argues that in South Africa there is a stalled agrarian transition, with poverty concentrated among a marginalised majority – an ‘underclass’ that is structurally marginalised and not socially mobile

The Principle of Equality: A South African and Belgian Perspective.

This book analyses principle of equality from different angles, bearing in mind the South African and Belgian experiences in this area. Firstly, a general overview is given of the different sources of human rights law in the Belgian and South African legal system, the relation between international and national law, the direct applicability and third party-applicability of rights and freedoms in the legal order(s), and the implementation mechanisms available both in Belgium and South Africa. Secondly, the principle of equality, as found in the Belgian Constitution, in the European Convention on Human Rights and in the South African Constitution, and the South African Antidiscrimination Bill are analyzed. Finally, the principle of equality is being studied from a thematic perspective, i.e. with regard to the use of languages and from a gender perspective. The book is concluded with a contribution on the access to medical and health care in South Africa.

Courting Controversy: Is judicial activism the only way to tackle gender inequality in Southern Africa?

A landmark judgement by Justice Oagile Key Dingake in the High Court of Botswana in October 2012 has been lauded as a game-changing watershed for gender rights in sub-Saharan Africa. In a remarkable decision, Dingake ruled that culture could not trump constitutional rights and made a powerful call for other judges to take a stand on gender issues


Employment And Inequality Outcomes In South Africa

This report explores some of the linkages between growth, poverty, inequality and the labour market in post-apartheid South Africa. The report takes a data-driven approach and relies heavily on rich household survey data for the period 1993 to 2008. Two key mechanisms dominate debates over the relationship between inequality and growth. The first is the employment and remuneration behaviour of the labour market. Strong positive employment and real wage responses to economic growth are the major poverty alleviating forces emanating from the performance of the private sector economy. The second mechanism is the inflow of fiscal revenue that growth makes available for active social policy and poverty alleviation

Education and Inequality: The South African Case

Following the international literature, income inequality decompositions on data from contemporary South Africa show that the labour market is the key driver of overall household inequality. In order to understand one of the channels driving this labour market inequality, the study uses national household survey data to review changing returns to education in the South African labour market over the last 15 years; with a focus on both the returns to getting employment as well as the earnings returns for those that have employment. The study that South Africa has experienced a skills twist with the returns to matric and post-secondary education rising and the returns to levels of education below this remaining constant.

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