Botswana: Mineral Wealth, Social Transfers and Taxation

In a new paper in the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, SASPEN Advisory Council member Dr Marianne Ulriksen examines the relationship between mineral wealth and redistribution in Botswana, analyzing social transfers and taxation. The first 50 people to access the article will be able to download the paper for free and Dr Ulriksen decided to prioritize this opportunity for fellow SASPEN networkers. Please see the abstract and link below.

ABSTRACT: There are palpable cracks in the Botswana economic growth success story, most apparent in the evidence of persistent and extreme inequality. This article offers new insights into the Botswana puzzle by focusing on redistributive policies – taxation and transfers – as potential mechanisms to tackle poverty and inequality. The historical analysis explores how the minimal redistributive policies reflect the interests of the elites and how these actors justify their policy decisions with reference to the needs of the poor – an important electoral constituency; and it links policy developments to social and economic outcomes where no comprehensive social security system and negligible taxations means that only the well-to-do are in positions of income security and only the most vulnerable receive some relief. Diamond-rich Botswana avoids taxing its citizens. In terms of citizen engagement and ability to pursue social justice this may be a mistake.

For online access to the article, please click here

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