Several African countries have to increase their tax revenues to finance human and economic development. General consumption taxes, such as VATs, are the preferred instrument for doing so, because they are less detrimental to growth than income taxes. To enable their use, VAT design has to be improved. Currently, many VATs are so riddled with exemptions and zero rates on domestic goods that they resemble extended excise tax systems, while the standard rate is mainly confined to luxury goods. VAT base-broadening would not only increase revenue, but also reduce the economic distortions and administrative complexities of most taxes.