We are pleased to announce that ACRC postdoc Matthew Sharp has been awarded a Young Researcher’s Grant by the International Growth Centre, worth £7,950.

The project intends to explore the potential for land value capture and taxation through zoning in Kigali, Rwanda, and is being undertaken with researchers at the London Business School, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford.

Rapid urbanisation in Africa and other developing regions increases demand for urban services, which local governments often struggle to provide. Land value capture and taxation through zoning presents an underexploited opportunity to mitigate this problem. Rwanda, with its fast-growing cities, first adopted a comprehensive land use zoning law in 2013.

The project aims to answer two central questions:

  • How much land value is created by the implementation of the 2013 zoning regulations in Kigali?
  • How much value could be captured by the local government through taxation and fees?

The broader policy research question is:

  • How could governments in rapidly-urbanising developing countries design policies to raise revenue from urbanisation to fund better service provision?

While organisations such as the World Bank have recently put out major reports advocating for local governments to adopt land value capture policies, no existing studies rigorously evaluate the land value capture potential of zoning regulations.

Matthew Sharp said: “We hope this study will inform the design of future zoning plans in Rwanda and in other developing countries. It is also relevant for discussions on the preservation of scarce agricultural land and on environmental conservation in Rwanda, which is the densest country in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Sign up to ACRC’s e-newsletter for future updates:

Header photo credit: Ryan Faas / Getty Images. Local homes on a hillside in Kigali, Rwanda.

Note: This article presents the views of the author featured and does not necessarily represent the views of the African Cities Research Consortium as a whole.

The African Cities blog is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which means you are welcome to repost this content as long as you provide full credit and a link to this original post.

Creative Commons License