ATAF, OECD Renew Partnership to Strengthen Tax Cooperation in Africa

Renewed MoU Aims to Promote Fair and Efficient Tax Systems Across the Continent

by Trevor Lutalo
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Cape Town – In a significant move to bolster the African continent’s tax systems and administrations, the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have renewed their partnership for another five years.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU), re-signed during the ATAF Annual Meetings in Cape Town, South Africa, underscores their joint commitment to advancing equitable tax policies and effective tax administration in Africa.

The renewed partnership signals the continuation of a decade-long cooperation between the two organisations, focusing on a range of critical areas within tax policy, tax administration, and domestic and international taxation.

“Through our continued cooperation with ATAF over the past 10 years, we have been working in partnership with African countries in improving their tax systems and administrations, demonstrating significant results in critical areas such as Value Added Tax (VAT) and revenue statistics,” stated Fabrizia Lapecorella, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD.

She further emphasised that ATAF’s role in facilitating African countries’ contributions to the Two-Pillar Solution for addressing tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy has been pivotal, especially for developing nations.

The OECD looks forward to ongoing cooperation and dialogue aimed at increasing the impact of their collaborative efforts.

Logan Wort, Executive Secretary of ATAF, underscored the importance of the renewed partnership in amplifying Africa’s voice on the global stage.

He emphasized that “In a world that often overlooks the unique challenges and perspectives of the African continent, the renewed partnership between OECD and ATAF ensures that Africa’s voice is not just heard, but resonates with influence and purpose.”

He further noted, “By championing domestic resource mobilization, we can drive the vision of equitable and proficient tax systems on the world stage and pave the way for a brighter future, directly benefiting the lives of African citizens.”

The collaboration between ATAF and OECD is expected to have a far-reaching impact, helping African nations shape more equitable and efficient tax systems while ensuring that their voices are heard on the global tax policy stage.

In 2023, ATAF extended its support to member countries by offering technical assistance in international tax matters through tailored country programs. A total of 52 Cross-Border Taxation missions were conducted across key sectors such as agriculture, oil, mining, and telecommunications, covering a wide geographical range that included 12 countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Among these missions, an impressive 73% involved real-time audits, significantly strengthening the tax compliance mechanisms of member countries.

The audit support missions yielded substantial results, leading to additional tax assessments totaling USD 39.2 million in the period from January to August. During the same timeframe, USD 17.7 million was successfully collected through transfer pricing audits. Notably, since the initiation of these efforts in 2016, the cumulative additional tax assessments have now reached an impressive USD 4,384.49 billion, with USD 1,725.58 billion collected specifically from transfer pricing audits.

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