Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

Africa Initiative

 

BACKGROUND

14th meeting of the Africa Initiative

Given the high levels of illicit financial flows from African countries and recognising the potential of tax transparency and exchange of information to raise resources for development, African members of the Global Forum attending its 2014 plenary meeting decided to create an African-focused programme: the Africa Initiative. The objective was to unlock the potential of tax transparency and exchange of information for Africa by ensuring that African countries are equipped to exploit the improvements in global transparency to better tackle tax evasion.

The regional focus enables the identification of specific approaches and the provision of tailored support to address the needs and priorities of African countries to grow their capacities in exchange of information for tax purposes. The Initiative's work fits into broader agendas, as tax transparency ultimately serves to stem illicit financial flows and increase domestic resource mobilisation, which are central to the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

» Browse all the progress reports and statements of outcomes from Africa Initiative meetings

 

STRUCTURE, MANDATE, MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE

 

The Africa Initiative was launched as a partnership between the Global Forum, its African members and various regional and international organisations and development partners. Initially set up for a period of three years (2015-2017), it was renewed for a second phase (2018-2020) in November 2017 at the Global Forum plenary meeting held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. A new three-year mandate and a new governance were agreed for the period 2021-2023 during the Initiative's 8th meeting in October 2020, and again, during its 14th meeting in November 2023, for the period 2024-2026. With encouraging first results, additional development partners joined the Initiative, which has benefitted from significant engagement at ministerial level to ensure political buy-in and sustained momentum. This is reflected in the Yaoundé Declaration, which provides support to the fight against illicit financial flows from Africa.


The Africa Initiative is currently co-chaired by Mr Edward Kieswetter, Commissioner, South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Mr Philippe Kokou B. Tchodie, Commissioner General, Togolese Revenue Office (OTR). It is open to all African countries and currently counts 39 member jurisdictions.


Seventeen donors and partners support the Initiative. Its members meet every year to take stock of the progress made and reflect on the remaining challenges. An ambitious work programme was agreed to develop and consolidate a culture of transparency and exchange of information on request in African countries, and to progress towards the implementation of automatic exchange of information.

 

WORKING GROUP ON CROSS-BORDER ASSISTANCE IN RECOVERY OF TAX CLAIMS

 

13th meeting of the Africa Initiative

The collection of tax claims is a challenge for many tax administrations, including those in Africa. Following calls from African countries and other developing countries to strengthen the international tax co-operation framework by ensuring effective cross-border assistance in recovery of tax debts, members of the Africa Initiative identified assistance in cross-border recovery of tax claims as one of the priority areas for the 2021-2023 mandate.

A dedicated working group established within the framework of the Africa Initiative conducted a fact-finding exercise to understand the current position of African countries on cross-border assistance in recovery of tax claims and ascertain the conditions necessary for an effective use of this form of international tax co-operation by African countries. The results are summarised in a note released in 2022 which highlights the need for building capacities on cross-border assistance in tax recovery in Africa, to unlock its potential for domestic resource mobilisation. The Global Forum also published the Toolkit for Establishing a Function for Cross‑Border Assistance in the Recovery of Tax Claims in July 2023.

 

 

DONORS AND PARTNERS

 

KEY DOCUMENTS

Progress reports and guidance material


Statements of outcomes

 

Related Documents

 

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