Tackling the haemorrhaging of public funds in Africa

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Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) Executive Director Alvin Mosioma. PHOTO/COURTESY

By KURIAN MUSA

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

The Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) will be hosting a public debate themed; Development Forgone: Tackling the Haemorrhaging of Public Money in Africa, to commemorate 10 years since their establishment in 2007 at the World Social Forum in Nairobi.

The forum draws players from government, civil society organisations, labour, researchers and academia and other relevant sectors.

They will gather to edify issues surrounding illicit financial flows (IFFs) from Africa, and suggest possible solutions to tame the largest financial catastrophe in Africa ripping of the continent billions of shillings annually.

Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), a Civil Society Organisation based in Nairobi, will be hosting the event; ‘Redefining IFFs’. Target 16.4 in the UN Sustainable Development Goals commits all governments for the first time to significantly reduce illicit financial flows, as part of a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030, and deliver on the promise of sustainable development.

According to Executive Director TJNA, Alvin Mosioma, the Pan African Conference (PAC) on Illicit Financial Flows, is an effort together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA), to jump start a new story on illicit financial flows and to digress towards a methodology that can enhance the implementation of the Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

“The forum shall provide a platform for key stakeholders to reflect on past successes in tax justice advocacy in Africa and map out existing policy opportunities for tax justice within the broader context of financing Africa’s development Agenda,” Mr Mosioma said.  

The Fifth Pan African conference on IFFs, will elicit a high-Level panel of policy experts and tax from Africa and across the globe, to chart various reforms needed, discuss positions and propose solutions against tax evasion.

Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) Executive Director Alvin Mosioma and a colleague during a past event. PHOTO/COURTESY

Anti-Tax evasion firebrands are set to meet under the anchor of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), the Tax Justice Network (TJN), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ).

Despite commitments by various African Continents to deal with illicit financial flows, there are still challenges being occasioned.

African counties suffer Capital flight. A situation that can be occasioned through a legal process when foreign investors decide to withdraw capital from a country as a result of an event of political or economic significance; or illegal, in the form of illicit financial flows (IFFS).

Mr José Antonio Ocampo, Chair of ICRICT said: “Multinationals’corporate tax            abuse is recognized as a key source of tax motivated illicit financial flows in the 2015 Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, and the commitment to it should therefore not be eliminated from the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“We urge UN to stand up for lower-income countries against the lobbying of special interests in what we consider is a critical element of the global commitment towards eradicating poverty and transforming economies through sustainable development,” Mr Ocampo said.

And, Commissioner Léonce Ndikumana said illicit financial flows originate either from illicit and illegal activities, illicit and illegal transactions or hidden capital concealed from tax and regulatory authorities, or any combination of the above.

“Every year, developing countries lose more through illicit financial flows, than they receive in external development assistance,” Mr Ndikumana said.

Relatively less attention is still paid on trade misinvoicing, which is an important channel of capital flight and illicit financial flows. Trade misinvoicing is indeed the ‘remaining hiding place’ for capital seeking to evade regulations and public

 

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