HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Unprecedented economic growth in many African
countries was going hand in hand with soaring inequality, which
national tax systems were failing to address, a latest report
African governments have been thus urged to build fair taxation
systems that address growing income inequality and poverty.
report “Africa Rising?- Inequalities and the Essential Role of
Fair Taxation” was launched at the African Forum and Network on
Debt and Development held in Harare on Wednesday.
report, penned by two NGOs—Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA-A)
and Christian Aid, says that tax is one of the most potent tools
at government’s disposal to address inequality, but tax systems
in many African countries do not currently fulfill that
Instead, the current taxation systems disadvantage the poor. Tax
dodging and illicit financial flows facilitated by off-shore
secrecy have undermined the distributive role of taxation, the
report says. “There was evidence that in many cases growth was
taking place at the expense of the poor, who are becoming
spokesperson Alvin Mosioma said the findings reflect the
inability of governments to tax the proceeds of growth either
because much is given in corporate tax breaks or has escaped
offshore into tax havens.
said inequality had been worsened by the growth model in many
countries which has largely seen a concentration of income.
report builds on an earlier study conducted by AFRODAD, which
urged the Zimbabwean government to balance between the need to
raise revenue and alleviate the plight of the poor.
AFRODAD executive director, Collins Magalasi, urged African
governments to embrace global cooperation in nipping tax dodging
and its vices of transfer-pricing and trade mis-invoicing in the
“African governments also need to prioritize the building of
fair taxation systems as one surest way of enhancing Africa’s
domestic resource mobilization efforts towards financing for
development that will ensure and end to inequality and the
scourge of poverty,” Magalasi said.
report investigates income inequality in eight sub-Saharan
countries of Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South
Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
also examines the ability of the tax system in each country to
redistribute wealth compared to international taxation systems.