30/07/2018 - On 25-26 July 2018, the 5th meeting of the Africa Initiative was held in Accra, Ghana. The meeting was hosted by Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Ghana and attended by 63 delegates from 21 African countries, the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), the West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF), the African Union Commission (AU Commission), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
The Africa Initiative was launched by the Global Forum in 2014 along with its African members and the ATAF, the Cercle de Réflexion et d'Échange des Dirigeants des Administrations fiscales (CREDAF), the OECD, the World Bank Group, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development. It aims to ensure that African countries take advantage of improvements in international tax transparency to enhance domestic resource mobilisation and fight against illicit financial flows from the continent. At the Global Forum plenary meeting in Yaoundé in November 2017, members of the Africa Initiative decided to renew it for a further period of three years (2018-2020) and to meet every six months to measure progress.
Accra, Ghana - 25-26 July 2018
The Accra meeting marks another step in the fight against tax evasion in Africa and reinforces the Yaoundé Ministerial Declaration, signed by 21 African countries, which calls upon the African Union to lead in the tax transparency agenda in Africa.
Delegates recognised that the implementation of the international standards would address a number of the recommendations made by the AU and UNECA's High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. They commended the African Union for advancing the transparency agenda in Africa and highlighting the importance of beneficial ownership registers, automatic exchange of information (AEOI) and the abolishment of bank secrecy at their 31st African Union Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Delegates welcomed the presence of the AU Commission and the UNECA at the meeting and mandated the Global Forum Secretariat to set up collaboration frameworks with both organisations towards harnessing improvements in international tax cooperation to serve Africa's interests. They also agreed to reflect the progress they achieve in improving tax transparency (including progress made in meeting individual country targets) in an annual report of the Africa Initiative.
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