High-level tax conference held at UP

Posted on July 26, 2016

On 14 and 15 July 2016, a high-level conference held at the University of Pretoria (UP) brought together more than 150 delegates from an estimated 25 countries and international organisations to discuss measures that could be adopted by African countries to more effectively counter money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and other financial crimes. The conference, which was co-hosted by the Vienna University of Economics and Business's Global Tax Policy Centre (GTPC) and the University of Pretoria's African Tax Institute (ATI), was the first of its kind to be attended by all the main role players.

The discussions were opened by Mr Pravin Gordhan, the South African Minister of Finance, who pointed out that tax-related crimes, money laundering and illicit flows undermine good governance, ethical politics and governmental and civil society programmes aimed at promoting inclusive growth and reducing inequality while also improving the standard of living of the poor and middle classes across the continent and the globe.  He stated that he was pleased that illicit financial flows were being looked at from the perspective of the African continent, as ‘our continent is one where illicit flows from and between African countries pose a significant threat to our developmental agendas’.

Among those who attended the conference were senior officials from tax authorities and customs departments, financial intelligence units (FIUs) and justice departments, as well as representatives from international and regional organisations (such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, IMF, African Tax Administration Forum), business and civil society.  Discussions were focused on how illicit financial flows are undermining the ability of African governments to make the investment required to achieve sustainable growth, which is one of the major challenges facing Africa today.


- Author Mikateko Mbambo

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