Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 234

Article in Press

The Capacity Conundrum and Local Revenue Collection in Ghana: The Issues and Way Forward in a Developing Country Context

Patrick Yin Mahama

  •  Received: 24 June 2021
  •  Accepted: 07 October 2021
Revenue mobilization for urban development has gained significant global attention in recent years. Particularly, attempts to maximize the efforts for improved revenue collection in the face of increasing demand for service delivery are weakened due partly to the caliber of human resources available and also the kind and extent of innovative practices adopted by these Assemblies for local revenue mobilization (LRM). Extant literature suggests that studies on revenue variability at the local government level are rare in developing countries. This paper expands this body of knowledge by examining the quality and capacity of human resources and innovation (QCHRI) and how it helps explain revenue variability between urban Assemblies in Ghana sharing similar characteristics. It is demonstrated in the discussions that in spite of obvious QCHRI challenges, some assemblies are able to raise more local revenue than others even though they share similar characteristics. Through key informant interviews and a survey of opinions of ratepayers in four Urban Assemblies in Ghana, it was found that while some assemblies are able to navigate through the challenges using staff empowerment and innovation strategies for better mobilization outcomes, others are unable to do same and thereby struggle in their revenue mobilization drive. This paper is part of a broader effort to examine the extent to which local revenue mobilization can be scaled-up in the face of several constraints in a developing country context. The study has implications for local revenue mobilization through a critical synthesis and convergence of central-local policy and strategy for effective local revenue mobilization, particularly for developing countries sharing similar socio-economic, political and other characteristics and revenue sources.

Keywords: Quality and capacity of human resources; Innovation; Local Government; Revenue Collection; Developing Countries; Ghana