The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme promotes transparency and accountability in public financial management and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its objective is to foster Good Financial Governance in Africa, more specifically to equip decision-makers in African public finance to use region-specific services, products and further education to improve financial governance.
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As the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) marked ten years since its inception, ATAF hosted its bi-annual International Conference on Tax in Africa (ICTA4) from 19-21 November 2019 in Uganda at the Kampala International Conference, where the journey establishing ATAF started on 19 November 2009.
The 4th ICTA conference was launched by H.E. Yoweri Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda with a keynote address. The theme of the 4th International Conference on Tax in Africa (ICTA) was “Innovation – Digitalisation and Harnessing Technology to Improve Tax Systems”. The conference brought together 450 participants from Revenue Administrations, International organizations, policy makers, academics and civil society organisations to the ICTA.
The three-day conference explored innovative solutions to policy challenges that ATAF member countries face in dealing with the taxation within the digital economy, which informs the global tax issues such as the inclusive framework and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) unified approach in the taxation of digital economy. This was discussed during the different sessions within the conference, looking into the challenges and opportunities in Africa in using technology to improve and strengthen tax systems.
During the conference, ATAF celebrated its’ 10th anniversary, celebrating the milestones and achievements of helping its members strengthen their tax systems and build human capacity. A website dedicated to commemorating 10 years of ATAF is creating to illustrate their various milestones, website: 10 years of ATAF. ATAF held an award ceremony recognising the exceptional contributions by individual experts, developments partners, ATAF members and International organisations, including past and present heads of tax administration. The GIZ-Good Financial Governance in Africa (GFG) Programme, was awarded “Valued Development Partner” for 10 years of strong partnership on tax matters. The GFG in Africa programme supports ATAF in providing strategic, institutional development and technical assistance to its members. At the panel session on “Global Tax Debate in Digitalisation – Any Opportunities for Africa”, the head of GIZ-GFG in Africa programme Mr Maurice Ochieng observed that “Taxation is a product of the law and government… and the wheels of government spins very slowly. Thus, amendments to tax laws can be painfully slow. The discourse around Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in relation to the inclusive framework and the unified approach will be on the discussion table for some time before finding their way into the domestic tax laws”.
Throughout the various discussions at the ICTA, ATAF members have committed themselves in expanding their revenue base and mobilise domestic revenues to help in expanding their economies. Additionally, members urged the policymakers at the ICTA conference to support efforts aimed at mobilising domestic revenues without compromising economic decisions that enhance growth of the African continent in order to promote self-sufficiency.