Media Coverage

November 2013
Africa’s tax systems: progress, but what is the next generation of reforms?

Taxation is zipping up the development agenda, but the discussion is often focussed on international aspects such as tax havens or the Robin HoodTax. Both very important, but arguably, even more important is what happens domestically – are developing country tax systems regressive or progressive? Are they raising enough cash to fund state services? Are they efficient and free of corruption? This absolutely magisterial overview of the state of tax systems in Africa comes from Mick Moore (right), who runs the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). It was first published by the Africa Research Institute.

Anglophone countries have led the way in reforming tax administration in Africa, considerably more so than their francophone peers. The reasons for this are numerous. Networks of international tax specialists are based mainly in English-speaking countries. Many of the modern systems that promote best practice within tax authorities were developed in anglophone countries, especially Australia. International donors, and particularly the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), have directly and indirectly promoted a lot of reform of national tax authorities. In fact, this has been one of the success stories of British aid.

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November 2012
Zambia: Unequal Wealth Share Worries ICTD

THE International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) has expressed concern over the unequal distribution of wealth from natural resource investments in Africa.

ICTD chief executive and co-founder Mick Moore observed that there was an enormous amount of exploration and development of minerals in Africa, and the awareness that mining companies are often paying trivial amounts of money to the public exchequer in return for a massive exploitation of minerals which was something that really irritated people.

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February 2012
UK urged to support Zambia’s tax-raising from multinationals

A Zambian NGO has urged the UK to continue its support for Zambia’s tax authority to ensure that more revenue is raised from mining companies and other multinationals.

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) said the new Zambian government has taken steps to increase the country’s tax base – but, compared with the total amount of revenue that could be raised, there is a long way to go.

Savior Mwambwa, executive director of the CTPD, gave evidence on Tuesday before the UK parliamentary international development committee, which is looking at taxation in developing countries, focusing on Zambia, which committee members will visit in the next few weeks.

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November 2011
South Sudan: Making Tax Work

Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. Needless to say, nowhere is it possible to escape the former; but it’s all too easy to shun taxes in South Sudan.  The system as it presently stands is too complex, difficult to understand, enforce, and comply with.  Meanwhile, abundant oil rents and aid – in combination with an underdeveloped economy – threaten to undermine incentives to tax in the first place.

Though we all may despise paying them and no matter how dry one might find the subject, taxes are important – and arguably central – to state-building efforts, or the arduous process of establishing mutually accountable, legitimate, public institutions. Indeed, beyond bankrolling basic public goods and services, taxes can help forge more accountable, responsive, and representative governments.

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November 2011
Sri Lanka could cooperate more with South Asia on tax: experts

Sri Lankan tax authorities should cooperate more with South Asian counterparts to be more vigilant of tax evasion by cross-border enterprises, international experts said in Colombo.

 “African national tax administrators have been cooperating on technical professional issues over quite a few years,” Allen Kagina, commissioner general of the Uganda Revenue Authority said.

 “And it has proved extremely valuable in increasing compliance by enterprises operating across one or more countries in the region.”

 She was speaking at an Pulling Ourselves Up: Taxation, State-Building, and Away from Aid organized by the Institute of Policy Studies together with the International Centre for Tax and Development ICTD in UK.

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