• Working Paper

The Crucial Role of Politics and Institutions in Property Tax Administration and Reform


This paper examines how shortcomings in the property tax legislation in Malawi and the political interplay among key stakeholders—namely the central government, local councils, and third parties—shape the ability of the cities of Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba, and Blantyre to fully realize the revenue potential of property taxation. The paper delves into the challenges posed by weak administrative capacity and low tax compliance, both intensified and complicated by the existing institutional structures and political dynamics. Overall, the study explores the complex link between institutional and political factors in Malawi, shedding light on the factors driving the prospects for property tax reform.


Research Lead

Doctoral Fellow

Publication Details

Colette Nyirakamana

Research Lead

Dr. Colette Nyirakamana is Research Lead for the LoGRI program, and Senior Research Associate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining LoGRI, Colette worked as program lead of the African Property Tax Initiative  (APTI) at the International Centre for Tax and Development, where she was in charge of supporting APTI-funded researchers, leading research projects, engaging with key stakeholders and advising governments in the design of property tax reform efforts. Her research focuses on local finances with particular emphasis on the institutional and political factors that create favourable and unfavourable conditions for effective revenue mobilization. She holds a doctoral degree in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University in Canada


All Contributions

Graeme Stewart-Wilson

Doctoral Fellow