Zimbabwe will host the first International Conference on Tax in Africa of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in Victoria Falls from September 23 to September 27.
The conference, which is being hosted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, will run under the theme “African Perspectives and Challenges in Taxation of Natural Resources and the Extractive Industry”.
It comes after the successful hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly by Zimbabwe at the same venue last month.
ATAF is an umbrella body for African tax administrations whose major objective is to improve the efficiency of tax systems on the continent.
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 but while natural resources may have fuelled a decade of rapid economic growth on the continent, most Africans have still not seen the benefits. A panel session report said African policymakers have critical choices to make.
They can either invest their natural resource revenue in people to generate jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations or they can squander this opportunity, allowing jobless growth and inequality to take root.
“It is very important that this self-confidence that we are seeing emerging be put to good use,” said the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa executive secretary Mr Carlos Lopes in the report.
“And in order for it to be put to good use, we need very concrete rather than rhetorical questions to be addressed.”
Mr Lopes noted that Africa’s leaders have adopted the Africa Mining Vision to try and clean up the industry and that an ongoing study by the ECA on illicit financial flows out of Africa shows the need for transparency and accountability.
“It is a two-way street we have to improve across the board,” he said.
Consequently, Zimra will also host the second edition of the Taxpayer Appreciation Day on September 23 in Harare to recognise taxpayers who have been consistently paying their taxes on time and in full.
This year, over 70 clients will be recognised in various categories such as Pay As You Earn, Excise Duty, Value Added Tax, Income Tax and Customs Duty. Stakeholders and co-operating partners who have contributed to the attainment of Zimra’s strategic objectives will also be honoured.
The Taxpayer Appreciation Day was officially launched in 2011 as a way of promoting voluntary tax compliance within the country.