Tax on mining and natural resources probed
26 September 2013, 12:32
Pretoria – African tax authorities will be scrutinising the taxation of natural resources and the extractive industries at a historic conference to be held at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from September 25 to 27.
The conference is being organised by the African Tax Administration Forum (Ataf), an umbrella body for revenue authorities in Africa.
Its objective is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tax systems on the continent.
According to the executive secretary of Ataf, Logan Wort, African governments and revenue authorities are still grappling with the “resource curse”.
Many of them have not been able to ensure that the natural resource wealth of Africa actually benefits the people of the continent.
He said this situation was the result of many factors, including the complexity of special arrangements with companies mining these resources, transfer pricing and the illicit flow of capital from Africa.
The conference comes at a time when the African Progress Report released in May this year noted that Africa's natural resources could dramatically improve the lives of millions.
While natural resources may have fuelled a decade of rapid economic growth on the continent, most Africans have still not seen the benefits.
Wort said the conference will consider best practices in addressing the taxation of natural resources within developed and developing countries.
It will draw on the expertise of policymakers, administrators, business and academia and afford participants the opportunity to engage with partners so as to promote the development of more effective tax systems and the capacity building required in African countries.
Commissioner General Gershem Pasi, the head of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and host of the Ataf conference, said the abundant wealth of natural resources that Africa is blessed with should enable African countries to realise the UN Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.