As society’s bona fide watchdog and agenda-setter, the media has a duty to not just inform but educate the public on key issues, both overt and covert. However for a long time, tax issues have always been viewed as complex and dynamic to comprehend, both by the public and media at large. Taxation issues are often covered as negligible financial matters, often not receiving the prominence that they ought. However recent exposes such as the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks have managed to bring tax justice issues to the fore of media and public agenda, by involving members of the press across the world and linking well-known figures to formerly vague issues.
Efforts in the recent past have been undertaken to provide African media with the necessary skills to link the under-development of the continent to its drivers a well as the home-grown and international solutions that are being formulated to deal with them. However a lot more needs to be done, particularly in specific areas that affect large swathes of the continent’s population.
The objectives of this training are:
- To develop linkages between the extractives sector and tax justice.
- To improve the understanding of African media practitioners and enable the journalists accurately and adequately report on tax, the extractives sector and the role of the Africa Mining Vision, the general tax justice agenda and their linkages to the broader structural transformation of African economies.
- This training also aims to link African journalists to experts and institutions as invaluable resources in future coverage of tax matters across the continent and beyond.
- Improve CSO use of African media to mobilise public opinion behind the tax justice platform.
- Create awareness of the Pan-African media award scheme to be anchored at University of the Witwatersrand, for the best report on taxation, Illicit Financial Flows and more broadly domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) in Africa.
- Explain the importance of Tax and Tax law in relation to the specific country development agenda.
The 2017 edition of the Africa Media Training Programme will focus on the extractive sector from a tax perspective. This would include challenges in covering the mining industry, linkages between the sector and sustainable development through domestic resource mobilisation and the challenges therein. As one of the biggest economic activities for many countries on the continent, it is also the biggest loser of revenue through illicit outflows. The training will compose of teach-in sessions, practical exercises and group work. The training is scheduled for 19- 21 July, 2017 at the University of the Witwatersrand- Johannesburg, South Africa.