KIGALI - Representatives from 30 tax bodies across Africa, within the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), have convened in Kigali for a one-week forum, with the aim of streamlining tax management and finding solutions to common challenges faced by their tax administrations.
The forum that was launched in Uganda last year by President Yoweri Museveni, comprises 36 member countries.
During the official opening of the forum at Laico Umubano Hotel yesterday, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Mary Baine, said that the forum would aim at improving the capacity of tax bodies of member states, making them more accountable and efficient.
“It is through such forums that we initiate ways in which we can promote domestic resource mobilization and reduce dependence on foreign aid,” Baine told the participants.
She added that ATAF would facilitate knowledge-sharing amongst continental tax experts, a move which would secure African tax bases and make them self sustainable.
The Executive Secretary of ATAF, Logan Wort, explained that tax authorities are the cutting edge between citizens and the state, emphasizing that states should therefore deliver what they promise to the citizens.
“Successful tax collection is based on good administration and this can be made possible by providing a broader overview of principles and practices of organization and management that all African tax authorities can utilize,” Wort said.
“It is imperative to also capture the informal sector into the tax net. Capturing the informal sector has been a continental problem for a long time, but we are here to see how we can solve such issues.”
According to RRA, the forum will also give ample attention to staff training, information technology as well as government projects aimed at reducing administrative costs for taxpayers.