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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Africa criticized for reluctant information
gathering on illicit financial outflow

By Justice Lee Adoboe ACCRA (Xinhua) -- Although there is information on illicit financial outflows across the world, Africa seems lethargic in accessing such information to beef up tax compliance and revenue mobilization, Monica Bhatia, global head of the Global Forum Secretariat on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, said Wednesday.

Speaking on the sides of the two-day fifth Africa Initiative Meeting on tax transparency, Bhatia told the media that African countries were not taking advantage of available information to understand the behavior of their tax payers.

“Africa has to ask for the information. There hasn’t been that much asking for information as being done by other countries so part of our effort is to encourage tax administrations to be able to ask for information,” Bhati explained.

Although most of the member-countries were cooperating, the challenge, according to the official, was that African countries needed to ask for that information.

“Some are asking but some are not asking. As you are aware, more money flows out of developing countries, including Africa, than comes through aid, so that significantly hampers the ability  of governments to provide basic services to its citizens, to have the revenue needed and to be able to have less reliance on external aid,” Bhati pointed out.

The fight against tax evasion is intended to help countries raise their own revenues for their own countries and their own citizens, added the official.

Some reports estimated Africa could be losing as much as 50 billion U.S. dollars per annum through illicit financial flows. 

           

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