Cameroon to host AU’s tax illicit financial flows meeting

The African Union’s (AU) 3rd meeting of the Sub-committee on Tax and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) aimed at fostering discussions and providing actionable recommendations for Africa’s continued proactive engagement in global tax reform discussion is expected to take place in Cameroon from 8 to 10 May 2024.

The meeting is going to run under the theme, “Strengthening Africa’s Leadership in the Continental and Global Tax Reforms.”

In a document released recently, the AU said the 3rd Meeting of the Sub-committee on Tax and Illicit Financial Flows theme is broad to focus on Africa’s ability to enhance its revenue generation capacity amidst evolving international tax norms and debates.

“The theme lays a foundation for insightful discussions, especially on how stakeholders could help the African Union and associated pan-African organisations  make taxation and the fight against IFFs pivotal for African development through reforms both at the continental and global levels,” reads the document.

The document reveals that Africa loses approximately US$89 billion annually to illicit financial flows, a substantial increase from around US$50 billion annually reported in 2015.

“Currently, Africa loses around USD 89 billion annually to illicit financial flows (IFFs), equating to 3.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP), while tax incentives contribute to a further $220 billion loss.

“The loss through IFFs increased from what was reported through the findings of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows in 2015, that shows Africa was losing more than US$50 billion annually in IFFs,” the document reads.

The AU noted that addressing these issues requires  concerted efforts to promote fiscal transparency, enhance efficiency, and ensure accountability in tax administration.

The meeting is expected to renew the continent’s commitment to fight against IFFs, enhance domestic resource mobilization and strengthen African leadership on tax reforms among other objectives.

Experts and senior officials from the ministries of finance, tax administrations, government-specialized agencies, central banks diplomats of the AU member states, Investigative Journalists, among other guests will be invited to participate in the meeting.

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