Alice Soares Guimarães has become a member of the Scientific Committee of the African Tax Research Network (ATRN), placing her among a prestigious international group of policymakers, researchers and administrators, who are working to influence the African tax research agenda.

The ATRN was established in 2014 to identify potential synergies and linkages between academics and tax officials from the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) member countries. This forum emerged out of Nairobi the previous year, in an effort to facilitate African capacity for credible research in tax policy, administration, law and leadership.

The ATRN Scientific Committee is chaired by Dr. Nara Monkam, Director of Research at the ATAF. The committee comprises thought leaders in the field of taxation in Africa from public, academic and private sectors.

Guimarães heads a long-term project called Taxation and State Formation that explores how taxation is of central importance to modern societies. The obligations of the individual to society; the powers and legitimacy of the state; the allocation of public and private resources; the rise of bureaucratic administration; and the reproduction of class, race, ethnic and gender inequalities are some of the many aspects of modern socio-political and economic life which run through the issue of taxation.

This three-year project seeks to understand how revenue collection has functioned historically in six African countries, namely South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Cameroon, Angola and Nigeria, and what kinds of states have emerged as a result of the tax regimes of these countries. The project aims, among other things, to understand how states can become better at driving developmental goals by developing tax regimes that are seen as fair and are supported by citizens.

The first in series of working papers coming out of this project was published in 2016, titled Fiscal Histories of Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Botswana by Thatshisiwe Ndlovu.

Alice Soares Guimarães is a senior researcher at PARI.