The Role of Information Communication Technology to Enhance Property Tax Revenue in Africa: A Tale of Four Cities in Three Countries

Information communication technology (ICT) is an important tool to support local governments in their efforts to more efficiently administer property taxes and other own source revenues. Increasingly, developing countries, including those in Africa, are managing large volumes of data on taxable properties and taxpayers within the ICT environment. With reference to four African cities, this paper comments on the benefits and challenges relating to the use of ICT in the administration of property tax and other own-source revenues. Key findings of this research include: (1) the importance placed on ICT by cities to improve ownsource revenue (OSR) administration; (2) ICT provides the opportunity for city councils to adopt a cashless payment system built around e-payments; (3) whilst ICT systems have only been recently introduced in Arusha City Council and Kiambu County, there is evidence that improved administration has contributed to improved revenue collections; (4) the introduction of new business processes have largely been accepted by city customers; and (5) Kitwe City Council and Ndola City Council have begun to implement ICT although there are issues with the technical support of the systems and the lack of arrangements with banks to facilitate epayments. Furthermore, Ndola’s experience confirms the risks of using an internationally developed and maintained IT system.