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Ghana Seeks to Boost Domestic Revenue With Digitized Tax System

A street vendor sells fresh produce roadside in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2020. Ghana is missing out on a rally of African bonds as investors fret about an expansion in spending and borrowing ahead of elections in December. Photographer: Cristina Aldehuela/Bloomberg

Ghana seeks to boost domestic revenue with a digitized tax system that improves compliance, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said in a speech to students at Ashesi University in the Eastern region.

The West African nation’s revenue fell short of target by 12% in the first seven months of the year and raises concerns about the country’s ability to finance its debts.

Ghana has a major challenge in domestic revenue mobilization with a tax-to-GDP ratio at 14.3%, compared with 27% for a peer country such as South Africa and 34% in advanced economies, Bawumia said. That has led to the implementation of a national ID card, which serves as the tax identification number and has increased the taxable adult population to 86% from a low of 4% in early 2017, he said.

Africa’s biggest gold producer has also started the process to launch a central bank digital currency next year, “The E-Cedi is a digital form of the physical cedi in circulation, it is a legal tender issued and backed by bank of Ghana,” Bawumia said.


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