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The East African : Sep 15th 2014
The EastAfrican 10 Special advertising section ATAF GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2014 Research, training top on our agenda An interview with Richard Tusabe, chairman of the Research, Capacity Development and Technical Assistance Committee of ATAF Council and the Commissioner-General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) What is ATAF’s plan to boost tax ≥esea≥ch in Af≥ica? ATAF plans to have col- labo≥ative p≥og≥ammes with academia, ≥esea≥che≥s, and tax administ≥ato≥s to help the latte≥ unde≥take c≥edible ≥esea≥ch. To this end, the g≥oups will explo≥e ≥esea≥ch needs and unde≥take collabo≥ative ≥esea≥ch p≥og≥ammes and ≥ealise this goal th≥ough the c≥eation of Af≥ican Tax Resea≥ch Netwo≥k (ATRN). In addition, ATAF has iden- tified unique a≥eas of ≥esea≥ch to supplement the ≥esea≥ch effo≥ts of tax administ≥ations. How do you intend to leve≥age on existing st≥uctu≥es in the va≥ious Af≥ican ≥egions to advance t≥aining and capacity building? Af≥ica has in place solid ≥egional economic st≥uctu≥es which ATAF can ≥ide on to ≥ealise its t≥aining agenda efficiently. Plans a≥e unde≥ way to ≥e- gionalise t≥aining by identifying t≥aining cent≥es which will be acc≥edited to unde≥take t≥aining on ATAF’s behalf. We envisage having at least a cent≥e pe≥ ≥egion based on thei≥ a≥eas of compa≥ative advantage. You have unde≥taken va≥ious capacity building p≥og≥ammes, th≥ough semina≥s and technical events. How e≠ective have these t≥aining p≥og≥ammes been? ATAF has been at the fo≥e- f≥ont in p≥oviding t≥aining to tax administ≥ations. On ave≥age, we hold about five high calib≥e technical events annually, sp≥ead ac≥oss the continent and attended by an ave≥age of 40 pa≥ticipants. In addition we have in place wo≥king g≥oups tasked with specific assignments whose output is aimed at benefitting membe≥ tax administ≥ations. Recently, we int≥oduced a blended lea≥ning p≥og≥amme entailing online foundational p≥og≥amme followed by faceto-face lea≥ning p≥og≥amme. The fo≥me≥ has enabled us t≥ain an even la≥ge≥ numbe≥ of pa≥ticipants in a cost e≠ective manne≥. We will continue focusing on t≥aining based on needs assessment. Which a≥e the specific a≥eas in which you have o≠e≥ed t≥aining so fa≥? We have held t≥aining p≥o- g≥ammes on t≥ansfe≥ p≥icing, exchange of info≥mation, inte≥p≥etation of tax t≥eaties, indi≥ect taxes, taxpaye≥ se≥vices, communication, audit and investigation of small and medium ente≥p≥ises, compliance management, value added tax (VAT) audits among othe≥ a≥eas. We a≥e planning t≥aining on taxation of the ext≥active indust≥y and taxation of the telecommunications indust≥y a≥ising f≥om needs of membe≥s. What plans do you have fo≥ membe≥s who lack technical expe≥tise? ATAF has established a Technical Assistance Facility, which has al≥eady been ≥olled out to encou≥age lea≥ning-bydoing. This p≥og≥amme entails technical expe≥ts being identified to wo≥k with o∞cials of the ≥ecipient tax administ≥ation, ≥esolve tax issues jointly and ultimately t≥ansfe≥ knowledge. How do you leve≥age on you≥ inte≥national netwo≥k to fu≥the≥ you≥ knowledge-based assistance agenda? I’m happy to note the g≥eat goodwill that we have with the inte≥national tax community. Cu≥≥ently, we a≥e wo≥k- ing ve≥y closely with OECD, Inte≥national Monet≥ay Fund, Ge≥man Inte≥national Co-ope≥ation (GIZ) and the United Nations among othe≥ inte≥national agencies. They have suppo≥ted ou≥ t≥aining p≥o- g≥ammes by making available expe≥ienced inte≥national ≥esou≥ce pe≥sons, p≥ovided technical expe≥ts fo≥ ou≥ wo≥king g≥oups apa≥t f≥om collabo≥ating in unde≥taking joint wo≥k p≥og≥ammes. We will continue wo≥king with them closely in fu≥the≥ing ou≥ capacity building agenda. ATAF fetes African diplomats SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Af≥ican diplomats we≥e last week feted by ATAF at a ≥eception held at Wate≥kloof Ridge in P≥eto≥ia. Diplomats ≥ep≥esenting 20 Af≥ican Former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel (right) with Monei Mpobane and Kennedy Onyonyi of ATAF during a reception hosted for South Africa-based African diplomats in Pretoria last week. count≥ies attended the event. Also in attendance we≥e ≥ep≥esentatives f≥om South Af≥ica-based dono≥ agencies and senio≥ executives of the South Af≥ican Revenue Se≥vices. The keynote add≥ess at the event was delive≥ed by fo≥me≥ long-se≥ving South Af≥ican finance ministe≥ T≥ev- e≥ Manuel, who pegged the measu≥e of success of ATAF to ensu≥ing seamless collabo≥ation with policy a≥ms of gove≥nments. M≥ Manuel castigated wealth ac- cumulation that does not t≥anslate into enhanced standa≥ds of living as putting into question the legitimacy of democ≥acy. He te≥med inve≥sion (p≥ofit shifting) and pe≥ve≥sion (ha≥mful competition that occasions lowe≥ing of tax ≥ates) as key challenges that tax administ≥ations must ad- d≥ess th≥ough ≥eve≥sion (≥eve≥ting to the o≥iginal p≥inciples of tax administ≥ation). Noting the low volume of the voice that should ≥aise pe≥tinent issues, M≥ Manuel encou≥aged administ≥ative solida≥ity th≥ough social netwo≥king to ensu≥e imp≥ovement of standa≥ds of living. Also in attendance was the ATAF chai≥man and Commissione≥ of SARS Ivan Pillay and the Executive Sec≥eta≥y of ATAF Logan Wo≥t.
Sep 8th 2014
Sep 22nd 2014