Distinguished academic chosen to be part of leading team

Posted on October 02, 2014

Prof Riël Franzsen has been appointed as member of the Governing Board (Executive Board) of the recently-established Institute for Fiscal Studies in Ghana.

He presently occupies the South African Research Chair in Tax Policy and Governance in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is also the director of the African Tax Institute (ATI) at the University of Pretoria and holds two undergraduate degrees and a doctorate in law with a thesis on South Africa’s real estate transfer tax (obtained at Stellenbosch University). He also holds a master’s degree in creative writing.

Prof Franzsen has acted as policy advisor in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean on behalf of various entities, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, on especially property tax issues. He has been a co-instructor for property taxation courses offered on behalf of the IMF (Austria and Singapore) and on behalf of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (China and Slovenia). Prof Franzsen is a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI) and has authored or co-authored numerous conference papers, journal articles and book chapters on especially land and property taxes.

The ATI offers a MPhil in Taxation and a PhD in Tax Policy. More than 40 students have already graduated from the master’s degree programme. Numerous government officials and academics from Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, the DRC, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, have benefited from one or more of the ATI’s wide range of courses or workshops.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) was established in Ghana in March 2013 by the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana, Dr Duffuor with Prof Newman Kusi as Executive Director, as a politically independent non-profit think-tank devoted to the provision of economic policy advice, advocacy and world-class training based on practical experience and insights developed through quality research and analysis. The Institute’s activities focus on three areas, namely research, academic training, and the organising of events. The IFS is led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics and seeks to conduct high-quality independent research in macroeconomic and fiscal policy management to promote better understanding of the Ghanaian economy in general and government finances in particular for the benefit of government, the business community and civil society. In addition, the Institute provides advisory services on macroeconomic and fiscal policy designs and management.

It is envisaged that the IFS will ultimately become an indispensable Ghanaian institution, specialising and leading in macro-fiscal policy research and academic training. It will be an authoritative commentator on Ghana’s public finances, tax and welfare policy, unemployment and labour issues, inequality and poverty and on policies designed to promote growth and development, with a reputation for objectivity and impartiality. The quality of the Institute’s work will be of an international standard and will reflect the quality of its staff, management and associates as well as a combination of world-class academic excellence and practical real-world policy making.

Two of the extraordinary professors at the ATI, Roy Bahl and Augustin Fosu, have also been appointed as members of the IFS-Ghana Governing Board.

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