Experts advise African Governments’ on illicit financial flows

African Nations have been called upon to identify the loopholes and implementation challenges with their regulatory frameworks that can be used to orchestrate Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Member of Parliament Nancy Abisai, asked the governments to come up with corrective measures of resolving the challenges.

She said legislators must ensure and lobby for proper laws to be put in place to combat Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Double Taxation Agreements (DTA).

The MP made the call while delivering a keynote address at The 9th  Pan African Conference on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation themed ‘Combating IFFs to Bridge Africa’s Widening Inequality Gap’, co-hosted by Tax Justice Network Africa and the Africa Tax Administration Forum  at the University of Nairobi.

She said IFFs is a political issue and needs a political solution, to address the inequalities.

“This problem can be easily sorted out if we get our politics on IFFs right and stop giving multi-national corporations incentives they don’t deserve,” Ms. Abisai added.

Abisai noted that Covid-19 has heightened the vulnerability and exposure of the taxation and Illicit Financial Flows and recommended that financial crimes be studied against a deeply contested history of colonialism and post colonialism, as the crimes require a contextual understanding.

 “The way we collect and use our revenues determines how well we finance our development. The key pillar remains self-reliance,” she added.

The African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), Kenya Chairperson, Shakeel Shabir, said the African Continent needs a tax system that is robust and can stand against corruption, adding that corruption has an immediate effect on direct taxation.

 “Our tax systems must be strong and robust. We must cut down on the power of ministries to waive and tax decisions should not come to Parliament as an afterthought,” said Shabir.

He, however, stated that commercial operations contribute the largest to revenue and noted that corruption accounts for a very minimal amount.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), Alvin Mosioma, said that tax policies should be coherent, as a measure to seal all loopholes.

“We need to make sure that when we are closing the door for the ‘small fish’, we are not opening the door for the ‘big fish’,” warned Mosioma.

The annual event brought together tax advocates, revenue authorities, government agencies, intergovernmental agencies, researchers and academicians among others to take stock of the successes and challenges in the continent’s Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) efforts and to provide solid evidences that civil society organizations and other stakeholders can use to support their ongoing tax policy and advocacy work.

  

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