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
“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
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.