“Scaling Up Tax Justice project kicks off today in Dakar to fight against illicit financial flows. The project will be implemented in Cameroon, Senegal and Tunisia”.
Dakar, 18 June 2018 – Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) officially launched today the Scaling Up Tax Justice project for Francophone Africa, in collaboration with Regional African Centre for Endogenous and Community Development (CRADEC), Civil Forum, which is the Senegalese section of Transparency International and Tunisian Economy Observatory (OTE), with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Cooperation and Development (NORAD).
The immense wealth derived from some French-speaking African countries’ natural resources has not always translated into tax revenues. In addition, the funds for the provision of social services to citizens are often diverted to tax havens by elitist and political classes. Recent news and exposes highlight this more and demonstrate that the issue of tax justice is at the heart of current African public debates. For instance, the West Africa Leaks, the $ 8.9 million lost by Senegal in tax evasion to Mauritius through the Quebec company SNC LAVALIN or the debate between the Cameroonian business owners and the Government of Cameroon on proposed taxes raises.
The ‘Scaling Up Tax Justice’ project for Francophone Africa aims to respond to these very financial outflows in French-speaking Africa, by contributing to their reduction and strengthening of the tax justice movement. More specifically, this project seeks to strengthen national awareness- raising coordination mechanisms on tax justice in the selected three countries: Cameroon, Senegal and Tunisia. Through this project, the partners hope to achieve, among others, more equitable tax policies and laws.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the launch, Mr. Papa Moussa of the Civil Forum said, “With the discovery of new mineral resources in Senegal, advocacy for tax justice becomes a more crucial issue to encourage government authorities to make the most of the exploitation of these resources to promote the development of the country and gradually reduce the gap between the rich and the poor“. Presenting the stakes of the project, the Deputy Executive Director of TJNA, Mr. Jason Braganza stressed that, “following the successful implementation of the first phase of Scaling up Tax Justice in five select countries in Anglophone Africa, it was generally felt that Francophone Africa offered further strategic opportunities for TJNA to further push the tax justice and IFF agenda through engaging in national policy advocacy’’.
The presentation of the project, the expected results and specific activities as well as the monitoring and evaluation framework will be the main elements of this kick-off meeting which will continue until June 19 in Dakar.
Photo credit: Panos/ V. Garbutt