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Africa Panel Wants Tax Transparency

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

16 May 2013

The 2013 Africa Progress Report finds that, while natural resources may have fuelled a decade of rapid economic growth, most Africans have still not seen the benefits, and tax avoidance and evasion represent major challenges.

The report suggests that African Governments should invest their natural resource revenue in order to generate jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations, but "international tax avoidance and evasion, corruption and weak governance represent major challenges."

It therefore welcomes the commitment from the United Kingdom and other Governments to put tax and transparency at the heart of this year's G8 dialogue. It urges all Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to recognize the cost of inaction in this vital area, pointing out that Africa loses twice as much in illicit financial outflows as it receives in international aid.

The 2013 report identifies an agenda for change, including the need for the international community to build on the United States Dodd-Frank Act and comparable European Union legislation for financial regulation "to develop a global standard for transparency and disclosure, develop a credible and effective multilateral response to tax evasion and avoidance, and tackle money laundering and anonymous shell companies."

"All countries must apply them to all extractive industry companies listed on their stock exchanges," Kofi Annan added. "The time is right to develop a global common standard for all countries. As major players in Africa's extractives sector, Australia, Canada and China should be the next countries to actively support this emerging global consensus."

TAGS: money-laundering | compliance | africa | tax | business | tax compliance | tax avoidance | mining | law | corporation tax | oil and gas | offshore | legislation | stock exchanges | transfer pricing | Congo, Democratic Republic of the | regulation

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