01 May 2022

Ghana: With almost 40% of Ghanaians of 15 and above using mobile money platforms, the e-levy, a 1.5% tax on all electronic transactions above 100 cedi ($13) which comes into force today Sunday, does not go down well with the general public. It is thought that the e-levy “will hit low-income workers and small businesses the hardest, as they rely heavily on mobile money transactions”. People seem already to have started turning back to cash. But the government – which is trying to “widen the tax base” – says they will eventually return to electronic payment. Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio stands at 13%, lower than the West African average of 18% and far lower than European countries’ ratios of 35-45% with the US in between at about 25%. By means of the e-levy, the government hopes to raise 920m USD this financial year. Economists think there are other ways of raising more tax money that would be more effective and less disruptive – e.g. by reworking corporate income tax, personal income tax and/or VAT.

30 April 2022

Rwanda: Paul Rusesabagina’s family has filed a 400m USD lawsuit in the US over his alleged abduction and torture. He was the manager of the Hotel Rwanda thought to have saved 1,200 during the genocide. He later emigrated to the US. And he became a determined enemy of Kigali and Kagame, in 2018 in a video he called for regime change and stated: “the time has come for us to use any means possible to bring about change in Rwanda”. He has been sentenced to 25 years for terrorism by a Rwandan court in 2021.