Policy and Practice

Author ORCID Identifier

Roy Bahl: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-5076

Riël Franzsen https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4545-2775

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The property tax is levied in all African countries except Burkina Faso and Seychelles. In some countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda), it is a constitutionally guaranteed source of revenue for local governments. In all cases, it is levied by local or national law. But almost everywhere in Africa, it is underused and badly administered. Colonial heritage does not seem to be a factor in the weak performance of the property tax, nor does the level (national or local) at which the tax is levied. Some factors plague property tax performance in developing countries throughout the world, but other reasons for this immaturity of the property tax are specific to individual African countries or to the continent as a whole.


(c) 2017 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. From Franzsen, Riel and William J McCluskey. Property Tax in Africa: Status Challenges and Prospects. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2017.