Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Taxing Kenya’s M-Pesa Picks the Pockets of the Poor

Kenya has instituted a new tax that affects users of M-Pesa -- a widely popular phone-based money transfer service used by more than half of Kenya’s adult population. The new 10 percent excise duty on fees charged for money transfer services applies to mobile phone providers, banks, and other money transfer agencies. Operated by Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya, M-Pesa accounts for the largest share of users of money transfer services. Users of M-Pesa products will therefore bear most of the impact of the tax.

Finance Lessons from Emerging Markets for Europe and the United States

Last week I was one of a handful of speakers at the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee, a non-partisan group that works to promote international economic cooperation and to foster strong, effective Bretton Woods institutions (i.e. the IMF and World Bank). Other speakers at the meeting, which was titled “From Vicious to Virtuous: The Cycle of Debt, Stability, and Growth” included U.S. Rep.