African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), an organization established in 2009 with the sole objective of improving the performance of tax administrations in Africa, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pan African Parliament (PAP) aimed at engaging parliaments on the continent to draft strong legislations that will combat illicit flows.
The MoU signed in Kigali, Rwanda on October 29, 2018, seeks to formalize cooperation between African parliaments and ATAF on tax policy and tax administration reforms on the African continent.
The MoU according to a statement from ATAF’s headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa, encompasses capacity building and tax education for members of parliament through ATAF, a stronger advocacy role for members of parliament on tax issues and domestic resource mobilization in national, regional and continental fora in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and the role of parliamentarians in enacting sound national legislations as well as collaborative tax research initiatives between PAP and ATAF.
Prior to signing the MoU, the Executive Secretary of ATAF, Logan Wort had been invited by the Speaker of the African Parliament, Nkodo Dang, to make a presentation on the correlation between illicit financial flows and taxation and the collaborative role that ATAF and PAP can play in addressing this issue on the continent.
ATAF has been endorsed by the African Union as the “African voice” on tax matters. It considers sound domestic tax legislations and the development of expertise on tax treaties as key conditions for the implementation of effective tax reforms on the continent.
A statement quoting the administration says that ATAF views the PAP as a critical strategic partner given the oversight and advocacy roles of the parliament.
The MoU comes just days after the 5th Ordinary General Assembly of ATAF in Gaborone, Botswana, where participants explored ways to move Africa beyond aid and is viewed by both signatories as a significant step towards stemming Illicit Financial Flows, improving Domestic Resource Mobilization and funding Africa’s development.
ATAF is of the belief that better tax administration will influence economic growth, increase accountability of the state to its citizens, and more effectively mobilise domestic resources. Now in its ninth year of operation and headquartered in Pretoria, ATAF seeks to Improve the capacity of African tax administrations to achieve their revenue objectives, advance the role of taxation in African governance and state building, provide a voice for African tax administrations and develop and support partnerships between African countries and development partners.