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    Africa needs to tighten its taxation laws against multinational firms to curb illicit financial flows

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    Somali Magazine – Every year the African continent loses about $ 1.5 trillion to illicit financial flows that leave the continent due to tax evasion by multinational firms.

    Dr. Khanyisile Tshabala, Chairperson, of the African Parliamentary Network on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation (APNIFFT) pointed out that illicit finances are a huge problem facing the continent.
    “We have not built infrastructure at the government level to quantify how we can extract taxes adequately from multinational firms, especially from the West. The African continent has structures that extract taxes adequately from local firms and from individuals. The bigger the economy, the higher the illicit financial flows. Because if there’s more mining done, if you have 11 minerals and they’re all being mined, you can calculate how much you’re losing per minute. So the higher the import of that country, the higher or let me say manufacturing or mining, the higher the outflow.”

    She was speaking in Nairobi where parliamentarians from 40 African countries are meeting for a key illicit financial flows forum.

    Dubbed the APNIFFT 2023 continental meeting provides a platform for its members, African legislators, to strategize, learn from each other, and build their capacities in tackling illicit financial flows (IFFs) and tax injustices in the continent.

    Dr Tshabala opined that African parliamentarians must be on the forefront in championing for tax justice for the continent.
    “We need them to understand that they are not being sent by their parties or their governments or their Parliament’s. We need them coming here out of their own volition as volunteers to push for tax justice in Africa. We need to uplift the Africa parliamentarian network on illicit financial flows, we continuously teach our member s of parliament to love the country more than the path to love the region more than the past to love Africa more than they had.”

    The meeting is organized by Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) and APNIFFT.The conference brings together speakers, leadership, members of crucial house committees, tax justice stakeholders, and policymakers from Africa and beyond under the theme “Africa’s leadership in combatting illicit financial flows”.

    The conference is a platform that will enable the attendees to share their experiences, successes, and challenges faced by Africa’s parliamentarians in their pursuit of legislation aimed at combatting IFFs while simultaneously fostering sustainable domestic resource mobilization.
    Fredrick Ikana is a Kenyan Member of Parliament representing the Shinyalu constituency, he revealed that the country recently passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which is now in force. It defines and stipulates the forms and modes of punishment that arbitrators have this vise and the crimes are exposed to if found guilty.
    “One of the things that we are encouraging all our partner countries to explore is an active manner of strong legislation that will deter criminal activities in our financial systems, but at the same time encourage investments and ethical business practices within our borders and boundaries.”

    Africa generally possesses a wealth of varied natural resources and natural capital assets and holds approximately 8 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves, one-third of the planet’s mineral reserves, and one-tenth of the global oil reserves.

    APNIFFT 2023 explores the aspect of forging partnerships and collaborations to promote and mobilize political action amongst parliamentarians at national and regional levels.
    actionable policy recommendations that parliamentarians can implement within their countries.

    By Rading Biko

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