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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The GIZ Good Financial Governance Programme participated at the second African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) High-level Tax Policy Dialogue in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme for this year’s dialogue was “Reinforcing Africa’s position to benefit from the Global Tax Agenda”, focusing on re-prioritising Africa’s response on global tax issues. The two-day high-level Tax policy dialogue was organised by ATAF together with the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Throughout the two-day meeting policy makers and tax administrators were involved in discussions on the global international tax changes, and the existing taxation challenges faced by the continent as identified by ATAF over different sessions. The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Ndagijimana lauded the meeting, welcoming the initiative for Africa to start determining its own tax policy and administration decisions.
Mr Maurice Ochieng, GIZ’s Good Financial Governance Deputy Programme Manager, participated as a panellist for a session on Building A Better Future: Africa’s role in future global standard setting and its outcomes including support tools for ATAF’s membership. He emphasised the importance of the African tax administrations keeping abreast with international tax agenda by making use of simplified tools developed by ATAF including the Model double tax treaty, Interest deductibility legislation, transfer pricing guidelines and the Risk Assessment tool on transfer pricing for the mining sector jointly developed by ATAF and GIZ.
The participants at the second High- level TAX policy Dialogue meeting commended ATAF’s technical assistance that has yielded tangible impact on various initiatives, such as the introduction of new transfer pricing and interest deductibility legislation. In light of ATAF’s commendable technical assistance, it was agreed that ATAF should broaden its scope to its members in partnership with other development partners covering all various taxes that are identified by the country.
The High- level TAX policy meeting provided in-depth view of the tax landscape in Africa and the work that still needs to be done, as it was important that ATAF members convened, to evaluate tax policies and administrative changes to facilitate the processes of a roadmap improving and strengthening tax practices in Africa. The heads of tax administrations undertook to engage more closely with the sector ministries responsible for finance by updating them of the benefits that accrue to their countries revenue mobilisation efforts as a result of cooperation with ATAF.