The year 2016 has seen ATAF increase the depth and breadth of the services it offers members. This is a sure sign of a maturing organisation that is in touch with the needs of African tax administrations. A notable feature of 2016 has been the tremendous growth ATAF has experienced through increasing direct interaction with its members. This has resulted in the delivery of tangible value in the form of additional revenue collected by member administrations, underlining ATAF’s commitment to its strategic imperative of promoting revenue mobilisation on the African continent to foster economic developmentand self sufficiency.
The technical assistance programmes launched at the start of 2016 have been highly successful and have brought much needed analysis and specialised interventions that have benefited member administrations. ATAF has focused particularly on programmes to build institutional capacity on the exchange of information and the combating of transfer pricing. The organisation has also continued to inform members by publishing extensively on topics such as trade mispricing and tax compliance.
Additionally, the ever-changing global tax agenda has kept ATAF at the cutting edge of evolution through Africa-specific interventions and development of products that speak to African countries, such as the model double taxation agreement ss an African organisation, ATAF is proud to play its part in the fight against illicit financial flows from the continent.
ATAF has been nominated as a member of the Consortium on Illicit Financial Flows which is tasked to implement the outcomes of the report on illicit financial flows by the high-level panel chaired by former SA president Mr Thabo Mbeki. The organisation continues to provide leadership on taxation challenges continentally and remains committed to championing African interests global discussions on tax matters.
Another exciting achievement has been the launch of the first African Tax Outlook, featuring 15 African countries, an important document for tax policy analysis. In cooperation with the OECD, also released was the inaugural edition of Revenue Statistics in Africa, featuring revenue data of eight member administrations. In the course of compiling these ground-breaking publications officials from the participating revenue administrations were trained in various techniques of data collection, analysis and data banking, thus transferring knowledge and improving skills.
I convey my thanks to the ATAF Council members, the Executive Secretary and staff of the Secretariat for their sterling work and commitment during the year. ATAF also is grateful for the support it received from our development partners and our host country. We are determined to build on the hard work and success of the year as we collectively strive to unleash Africa’s potential to the benefit of the peoples of the continent.