ERSA Research Workshop: The fiscal history of sub-Saharan Africa

Workshop date: Monday, May 25, 2015 to Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Workshop location: Stellenbosch, Cape Town

The public finances of African governments in the colonial and post-independence periods have been the subject of substantial new research in recent years. Within the broader field of African economic history, the fiscal history of the continent has yielded insights into the capacity and aims of state institutions over time, as well as the economic legacies of colonial rule. And yet considerable gaps remain in our understanding of taxation and public spending in African countries. The focus of recent work has been primarily on East and West Africa, and until recently almost exclusively on British colonies. It has also been limited to the finances of governments at the ‘national’ level, with little attention paid to local governments, and on taxes paid in cash and forced labour. This workshop will provide a venue to present ongoing research on the fiscal history of sub-Saharan Africa, focusing particularly on work which addresses these gaps. The aim will be to highlight the contributions of new findings to the field as a whole as well as to provide a forum for the discussion of common questions and difficulties.

Number of participants: The number of participants will be limited to 20 delegates.

Funding: Travel expenses in South Africa will be covered and accommodation for the duration of the workshop will be provided by ERSA.

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