Africa: ATAF, World Bank Sign MOU to Strengthen Tax Systems in Africa

African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), established by African revenue authorities, including Liberia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Bank Group for the improvement of tax systems in Africa.

ATAF and the World Bank Group met on the margins of the IMF/World Bank Group's Annual Meetings (October 14-20, 2019 in Washington DC) to formalize the collaboration for the improvement of tax systems in Africa. ATAF and the World Bank have in the past collaborated on numerous technical assistance programs by leveraging their respective expertise and resources.

ATAF, represented by its executive secretary, Logan Wort and the World Bank Group represented by its Global Director Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice, Marcello de Moura Estevão Filho, signed the MoU aimed at formalizing their cooperation towards promoting fair and efficient tax systems and administrations on the African Continent.

Under the MoU, the two organizations intend to share knowledge, and pool their expertise and resources to jointly deliver technical assistance and build capacity across Africa.

According to Mr. Wort, "The World Bank is a traditional ally of ATAF and [we] have in the past, cooperated on numerous projects, including our country programs aimed at building the capacity of ATAF's Members and improving their efficiency in tax revenue mobilization. As we are about to step into the next decade of ATAF, consolidating ties with like-minded organizations such as the World Bank Group can only be beneficial to our membership across the continent."

ATAF was established by African revenue authorities in 2009 in order to improve the performance of tax administrations in Africa. Liberia is a founding member of ATAF with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) recently serving on the Forum's Executive Council for two years.

In addition to providing technical assistance, ATAF believes that building the necessary skills, and capacity within tax administrations will have a more sustainable impact over a longer term. The organization has therefore trained more over 15,422 tax officials and policymakers--several of them from Liberia under the canopy of the LRA--on tax audit, tax treaties analysis, compliance risk management and fraud detection, transfer pricing, revenue forecasting and analysis and many others.

ATAF believes that effective tax administration will enhance economic growth, increase accountability of the state to its citizens, and more effectively mobilize domestic resources for national development programs.

Now in its 10th year of existence and headquartered in Pretoria, ATAF actively plays a key role in ensuring that Africa's voice is heard and the continent's interests factored into the works towards building stronger ties with other continental organizations, including AU bodies to achieve Africa's development objectives.

ATAF will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary on November 19, 2019 in Kampala, Uganda, during the 4th International Conference on Tax Africa (ICTA) scheduled from November 19 to 22, 2019.

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