ATAF elects new council
THE African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) has elected a new governing council led by Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Services chairman Mr Babatunde Fowler.
The new council to lead the organisation for the next two years was elected at the forum’s recently held 4th General Assembly in Durban, South Africa.
Other members of the council elected were Mauritius as vice chair, Uganda, Burundi, Swaziland, Ghana, Liberia, and Tanzania.
Zimbabwe is a member of the ATAF, a premier Pan African tax organisation while South Africa holds a permanent seat on the forum’s council.
Mr Fowler pledged in his acceptance speech to bring on board North African countries to join the ATAF so that they benefit from the organisation.
“It is my fervent hope that by the end of my tenure I would have managed to rope in North African countries and encourage greater participation and representation from Francophone countries,” Mr Fowler was quoted as saying.
The forum provides a platform for the continent’s revenue authorities to articulate African tax priorities, develop and shape best practices and build capacity in tax policy and administration.
Its membership comprises 38 tax administrations across the African continent.
Mr Fowler promised to continue with the institutional development that the previous council had implemented and advanced.
The renewal of the tenure of the incumbent ATAF executive secretary Mr Logan Wort of South Africa by another four years was another major highlight of the event.
Mr Wort’s tenure of service was scheduled to expire in March 2017 but the General Assembly endorsed the council’s recommendation to extend his contract to March 2021.
Mr Wort also pledged to work closely with the newly-elected ATAF council to embark on a massive membership commitment drive to ensure the forum strives to provide a platform to improve the performance of tax administration in Africa.
The 4th ATAF General Assembly held under the theme “Harnessing the African Cash Economy: Contributing Towards Expansion of the African Tax Base,” saw at least 25 member countries deliberating on operational and governance issues that include understanding the cash economy, tax evasion, base erosion and profit shifting.
The forum has pledged to focus on broadening the African tax base through among others, focusing on illicit financial flows and Africa’s cross border taxation especially the impact of multi-national enterprises.
ATAF will focus on extractive industries, trade mispricing and VAT as important elements of improving the African revenue base. — @okazunga