Tax Transparency in Africa 2023: Africa's Major Achievements in recent years
Launched today during the 13th Meeting of the Africa Initiative, Tax Transparency in Africa 2023 presents African countries' latest advances in tackling tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) through transparency and exchange of information (EOI) for tax purposes.
Co-produced by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum), the African Union Commission, and the African Tax Administration Forum, the report covers 38 African countries. It includes numerous figures and countries' experiences showing the positive impact of the Africa Initiative's endeavors on the setup of tax administrations and their revenue collection. It also details capacity-building activities carried out by the Global Forum and its partners in Africa throughout 2022 and proposes practical strategies for further progress.
Notable achievements in recent years include:
- 4 African countries (Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone) have joined the Global Forum as 165th, 166th, 167th, and 168th members since June 2022, further demonstrating the acute political attention for the international tax transparency agenda.
- 23 African countries are now parties to the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the most comprehensive instrument for all forms of cooperation to tackle tax evasion, thus substantially expanding their EOI relationship networks.
- 10 African countries have already committed to the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) by a specific date, and more are expected to do so in the near future with the assistance of the Global Forum and its partners.
- African countries collectively reported collecting over EUR 310 million as a direct result of the exchange of information on request (EOIR) since 2014, and at least EUR 1.69 billion in additional revenues (tax, interest, and penalties) have been identified in the region since 2009 through voluntary disclosure programs launched before the first automatic exchanges, EOI and offshore investigations. For the first time, one African country reported collecting additional taxes using CRS data (EUR 10.6 million in 2022).
- 15 training events were organized in 2022 and delivered to 1170 officials representing 37 African countries. Further, more than 1800 additional officials were trained on EOI by local trainers who had participated in the Train the Trainer program.
"A tax risk anywhere is a tax risk everywhere. Tax administrations are called to serve a transformative and higher purpose in the interest of society. Collaboration is essential if we are to serve our shared ambition for effective resource mobilization," said Edward Kieswetter, Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Co-Chair of the Africa Initiative." The Global Forum, specifically the Africa Initiative, enables constructive collaboration and impactful interventions. The identification and delivery of needs-based, prioritized, and tailored capacity-building initiatives will ensure that African countries, by working together, will grow their capability and capacity for the effective execution of their respective mandates."
"We remain steadfast in our commitment to help African countries address all challenges in implementing and benefitting from the tax transparency standards. For together, we can achieve more," said Philippe Kokou B. Tchodie, Commissioner General of the Togolese Revenue Office (OTR) and Co-Chair of the Africa Initiative.
Tax Transparency in Africa 2023 also includes an update on the latest developments in cross-border assistance to recover tax claims. Delivering on its current mandate from the Africa Initiative members, the Global Forum published a toolkit today to help tax administrations set up and benefit from this type of mutual assistance.
"Our most recent programs, Train the Trainer and Women Leaders in Tax Transparency, are showing very positive results in Africa, and we will pursue and amplify our efforts to help promote tax transparency for the benefit of all African countries and their citizens," said Zayda Manatta, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat.
Launched in 2014 and now supported by seventeen donors and development partners, the Africa Initiative seeks to ensure that African countries are equipped to participate in and exploit the advances in global transparency to fight tax evasion and other IFFs better and ultimately improve resource mobilization to sustain their development.