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Inaugural Tax Short Course wins praise from participants

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The ICTD, in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies and the African Tax Administration Forum, organised its first Tax and Development short course from January 26-29th at the IDS in Brighton, UK. The course covered a variety of issues, including the role of taxation in development, international taxation, extractive industry taxation, subnational taxation, and the experience of African revenue authorities.

The trainers were a mix of academics and practitioners: Mick Moore, a professorial fellow at IDS and the CEO of the ICTD, Nara Monkam, the Director of Research at ATAF, Tom Balco, an ICTD researcher and professor at the Central Asian Tax Research Center, and Philip Kargbo, the Director of Research, Monitoring, and Planning at the National Revenue Authority in Sierra Leone.

The 22 course participants were also from a range of backgrounds, including senior officials from European foreign ministries and donor organisations, advisors from the private sector, campaigners from NGOs, and senior officers from African tax administrations. The ICTD also funded three course scholarships, which were awarded to Joseph Olanyo, a journalist from Uganda, Kolawole Banwo, of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center in Nigeria, and Martin Mbewa, from the Kenyan Parliamentary Service Commission.

The opportunity to share experiences from other jurisdictions was very rewarding, the blend of NGOs, donors, and tax officials was also very helpful.

Of her experience, a participant from the Danish International Development Agency said, “I feel I have learned a lot, and the course fully lived up to my expectations,” while another stated, “the quality of the teachers was excellent.” 

Merlin Chatwin from Amplify Governance, an NGO based in Ghana, shared that for him “the most useful thing was the ability to interact with individuals actively engaged in tax reform after hearing relevant research-based content.” Nompumelelo Dlamini, the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes of the Swaziland Revenue Authority said, “we will certainly support the next course, as I found it very valuable for the different stakeholders we have in my country.” The good news is that we will certainly run the course again next year. Stay tuned for details!

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