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An 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.

Domestic Flights: To Cape Town

Requirements:  This is an open call for researchers interested in African fiscal history. Each attendee will be expected to present their current research. Sessions for full-length papers as well as shorter, work-in-progress papers will be available. Those interested in presenting a paper or work-in-progress should submit an abstract of no more than 200 words to Johan Fourie (johanf [at] [at] (),) Krige Siebrits (krigesiebrits [at] [at] (),) or Philippe Burger (burgerp [at] [at] ().) Applications must be submitted by May 4 2015.