Date: April 19, 2010, 12:24 pm


THE NAIROBI DECLARATION ON TAXATION AND DEVELOPMENT


1) We, the undersigned organisations and networks, having shared extensive research on the problems facing sub-Saharan African countries at the inaugural Pan-African Conference on Taxation and Development held in Nairobi, 25-26 March 2010

a) recognise the common threat to political progress, sustainable economic development and to poverty eradication that results from the unacceptable domestic and international obstacles to effective taxation for development.

b) affirm that effective and equitable taxation and is critical to the independence of African countries; and to the strengthening of channels of political representation and government accountability.

c) commit to work together for reform in the areas of domestic taxation, revenues from natural resource extraction and international taxation.

1) Domestic taxation

a) Having regard for the importance on tax compliance and accountability for tax revenues and expenditure we:

b) call on African governments to commit to full transparency on tax revenues and tax expenditures.

c) call on African governments to remove tax exemptions for multinational corporations and wealthy individuals and elites.

d) call on revenue authorities to simplify the tax code and reduce the compliance burden, particularly for small businesses.

e) call on fiscal research institutes to investigate the feasibility of land Value taxes in urban areas to funding of local infrastructure provisions, and to conduct analysis into the benefits of Export Processing Zones to African countries.

f) agree to work within civil society to promote taxpayer education and compliance and call on other civil society organisations to do so.

g) commit to ongoing research and advocacy with regard to the impacts of tax policy on men, women and vulnerable groups.

2) Revenues from natural resource extraction

a) Having regard for the importance of strong governance to ensure African governments benefit from natural resource extraction we:

b) note the power and information asymmetry between African governments and multinational companies in negotiating fair contracts and the lack of capacity to determine appropriate prices.

c) question the lack of transparency in mining contracts across the continent which increase potential for bribery and corruption and undermine accountability.

d) call on African governments to audit natural resource bases before signing mining contracts.

e) call on African governments to strengthen legal provisions relating to contracts, possibly including measures to over-ride stability agreements that prevent future governments from re-negotiating contract provisions, possibly including limits to length of the contracts.

f) call on African regional bodies to explore regional coordination and harmonisation of fiscal regimes, and information exchange to challenge harmful tax competition in the mining sector.

g) call on African regional bodies to commit to South-South learning of successful tax practices in relation to mining.

h) call on African governments to sign on to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

i) call on aid donors to build the capacity of civil society in monitoring the activities of mining companies.

j) affirm that if it is not possible to arrive at a fair contract that, resources should be left in the ground for exploitation by future generations.

3) International taxation

a) Having regard for the leakages which undermine the tax bases of African countries we:

b) note that developing countries lose more as a result of international tax evasion and avoidance than they receive in foreign aid.

c) note the need for policy coherence among aid donors to take steps at the national and international level to challenge international tax dodging.

d) affirm the need for international and regional tax cooperation to challenge harmful tax competition and stop tax leakages.

e) challenge the widely held assumption that low tax rates encourage economic growth and development.

f) call on the UN, IMF, World Bank and OECD to include civil society in international processes to challenge tax leakages.

g) call on the G20 to involve African countries in international processes with regard to tax cooperation.

h) having regard for the need for greater transparency among multinational companies, we call on the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to adopt a country- by - country reporting of key financial information for all listed companies

i) having regard for the corrosive impact of financial secrecy in offshore financial centres we call on the G20 and the UN to move towards a multilateral agreement for the automatic exchange of tax information between jurisdictions, particularly developing countries.

j) call on African regional and pan African bodies to initiate effective multilateral programmes for exchanging tax information to combat tax evasion.

k) call on African governments to introduce legislation to make tax evasion a predicate offense under existing anti-money laundering provisions.

l) call on aid donors to invest in strengthening the capacity for revenue authorities and to provide technical expertise in monitoring large taxpayers, in particular, transfer pricing issues.

m) commit to research the impact of current tax regimes and campaign for reforms at the international level to ensure that the taxing rights of African countries are not undermined by abusive international tax practices

signed

Alvin Mosioma                                  Kenya Tax Justice Network-Africa
Sandra Kidwingira                           Kenya Tax Justice Network -Africa
John Christensen                             United Kingdom Tax Justice Network /IS
Dereje Alemayehu                           Kenya Christian Aid- East Africa
Jack Ranguma                                   Kenya Tax Justice Network-Africa
Attiya Waris                                       Kenya University of Nairobi
Wakaguyu Wakiburi                       Kenya Tax Justice Reference Group
Semkae Kilonzo                                Tanzania Policy Forum
Jane Nalunga                                    Uganda SEATINI
Alex Cobham                                     United Kingdom Christian Aid
David McNair                                    United Kingdom Christian Aid
Katrin Mc Gauran                             Netherlands SOMO
Aldo Calieri                                         USA Rethinking Bretton Woods Project/Centre of Concern
Soren Ambrose                                  Kenya Action Aid
Charles Chivweta                             Zambia Norwegian Church Aid
Samuel Fakile                                    Nigeria Covenant University of Ota
Nara Monkam                                    South Africa Africa Tax Institute
Chilufya Chileshe                             Zambia Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
Abdoulaye Doudou Sarr                Mauritania Publish What You Pay
Silvana Toska                                     USA Cornell University
Jean Marie Bolika                            DR Congo ILDI
Michael Otieno                                                 Kenya NTA
Jean Mballa Mballa                        Cameroon CRADEC
Steve Manteaw                                                 Ghana ISODEC
Alradjé dono dédengart                                 Chad N'Djamena University
Kennedy Masime                             Kenya Centre for Governance & Development
Joanne Carpenter                            United Kingdom PANOS
Fiona Chipunza                                 Zimbabwe AFRODAD
Vitus Azeem                                       Ghana Integrity Initiative
Jean Luc Muke                                  DR Congo Avocats Verts
Julien Tingain                                   Côte d'Ivoire Publish What You Pay
Manyewu Mutamba                        South Africa IDASA
Rebecca Tanui                                   Kenya BEACON
Vera Mshana                                      South Africa Africa Tax Institute
Kiama Kaara                                      Kenya KENDREN
Isaack Otieno                                     South Africa Institute for Security Studies
Marjolein Brouwer                           Netherlands Oxfam Novib
Lina Sjaavik                                        Tanzania Norwegian Church Aid
Dennis Eliashifie                              Tanzania Norwegian Church Aid
Savior Mwambwa                             Zambia Centre for Trade Policy & Development
Mathias Kafunde                              Malawi Centre for Social Concern
Peter Kioko                                         Kenya Institute of Certified Public Accountants-Kenya
Saviour Mwambwa                          Zambia Centre for Trade Policy & Development
Evariste Munyampunda               Tanzania GTZ- East Africa



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