The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General Mr. Githii Mburu’s term as the Chair of the Africa Initiative, an institution of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, has been extended for a further one-year term.
The Commissioner General’s term was extended during a virtual meeting where over 101 delegates, including representatives from 26 African countries and six Africa Initiative donors and partners, came together for the 10th meeting of the Africa Initiative1 held by videoconference.
The delegates welcomed Algeria who joined the Global Forum in September 2021, becoming the 33rd Africa Initiative member. The delegates also welcomed the attendance and support of the partners and donors of the Africa Initiative.
During the meeting, the delegates were updated on the progress made under the leadership of the Chair and Vice Chair, in realising the 2021 Africa Initiative Action Plan to advance the two strategic pillars of the Initiative: (i) raising political awareness and commitment in Africa and (ii) developing capacities in African countries in transparency and Exchange Of Information (EOI).
Under the first strategic pillar, the delegates welcomed the Africa Initiative’s contribution in raising political awareness and commitment in Africa to using transparency and EOI to combat illicit financial flows (IFFs).
The delegates welcomed Rwanda as the 32nd signatory of the Yaoundé Declaration, which sends out a strong signal of the growing commitment of African countries to the Initiative’s objective. The delegates encouraged the remaining African countries to increase political attention on the problem of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and the key role that tax transparency and EOI can play to increase domestic resources available for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063 by joining the Yaoundé Declaration.
Under the second strategic pillar, the delegates lauded the efforts taken by the Africa Initiative to enhance the capacities in African countries in transparency and EOI, with 38% of the Global Forum Secretariat’s capacity building work dedicated to Africa in 2021. In particular, delegates welcomed the move to build a local and sustainable training expertise on EOI within African tax administrations through the Train the Trainer programme launched in 2021, which has already enabled trained trainers to deliver trainings on EOI to over 400 tax officials in 14 African countries.
The delegates further approved the measures adopted on cross-border assistance in recovery of tax claims in African countries and the conditions necessary for successful recovery that was prepared by the Africa Initiative Working Group on Cross-Border Assistance in Recovery of Tax Claims.
The Africa Initiative is a continental programme launched in 2014 by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum), its African members and various partners. It aims at unpacking the benefits of tax transparency and exchange of information (EOI) to fight tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) and serve African countries’ development.
The number of African countries undertaking Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) has increased in the last couple of years with four jurisdictions already exchanging (Seychelles, South Africa, Mauritius and Ghana). Nigeria is expected to start its first exchanges this year while technical assistance to facilitate commencement for Morocco and Kenya, which have committed to undertake AEOI by 2022, is now underway. The Africa initiative will also provide support to five (5) other African countries (Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda) which are considering a practical date to commence their AEOI efforts.
The Africa Initiative is open to all Africa countries. Its members meet annually to take stock on the progress made and reflect on existing challenges in tax matters.
Through the Africa Initiative, the number of African countries involved in international work on tax transparency has grown.
The forum promotes the establishment of a culture of Exchange of Information that has helped generate additional tax revenues.
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