Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Raychelle Omamo has today presided over the official launch of the Africa Initiative Progress Report in Nairobi.
The Africa Initiative, which held its 11th meeting, is a program by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
Speaking at the event held at the Serena Hotel, CS Omamo stated that African countries face a myriad of challenges cutting across borders which drain the much needed resources from African countries.
Omamo disclosed that Kenya, for instance, loses over 500 million shillings every year due to illicit financial activities.
“This money could otherwise have been used for development purposes within the country,” she added.
The CS condemned traders who deliberately falsify the value of goods and services in an attempt to avoid paying their fair-share of tax.
“The 11th Africa Initiative is a very important and useful forum to reflect on the gains made from improved transparency as well as all the drawbacks so far,” said the CS.
Omamo stated that the initiative has helped curb illicit financial activities in partnership with other African countries.
“It is imperative that tax administrations across Africa band together and seal all loopholes exploited by the rogue players in tax avoidance,” said Omamo.
The CS called upon African governments to offer increased assistance in thwarting illicit financial activities which will in turn improve revenue gains.
She noted, “Decision-makers’ understanding of the effectiveness of tax transparency in the fight against tax evasion and other illicit financial activities is fundamental to creating the conditions needed for African countries to benefit from international exchange of information.”
At the same time Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Board Chairman Dr Francis Muthaura stated that the tax administration will continue to uphold best tax practices in achieving its mandate of domestic revenue mobilization.
“We believe that utilization and exchange of information standards and tools will go a long way in ensuring enhanced revenue mobilization translating to the much-needed economic transformation of our countries and the continent,” said Muthaura.
Meanwhile, Chair of the Africa initiative Mr Githii Mburu expressed great joy for launching the fourth edition of the Tax Transparency in Africa 2022 progress report.
“We have a framework between African countries in our continued fight to curb illicit financial activities and follow up on those who attempt to evade taxes by running to other countries,” he said.
By Mike Mulinge and Maureen Wanjiru