Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Breaking the Curse: TJN4Africa

Please be aware that tomorrow TJN for Africa, in partnership with other organisations, will be launching a report entitled "Breaking the Curse: How Transparent Taxation and Fair Taxes can turn Africa's Mineral Wealth into Development."

The invitation for the launch in Nairobi is pasted below.

Launching the Breaking the Curse Report

Action Aid International-Africa Region and the Tax Justice Network for Africa (TJN-A) would like to invite you or a representative of your organisation/agency to the launch of a groundbreaking report titled, Breaking the Curse: How Transparent Taxation and Fair Taxes Can Turn Africa’s Mineral Wealth into Development.

The report was commissioned and supported by leading International Development and Pan Africa Organisations - ActionAid, Christian Aid, Tax Justice Network for Africa, Third World Network Africa and Southern Africa Resource Watch. The report focuses on the lack of transparency in mining contracts as well as the revenue that national governments forego owing to imprudent excessive mining tax concessions. The report also reflects on unscrupulous schemes by multinational companies to avoid and evade tax.

The study found some very disturbing common features across the seven countries – Ghana, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa where the research were conducted. It demonstrates that African governments are foregoing millions of dollars in tax revenue from the mining industry.

The report further demonstrates that overly generous tax concessions are usually granted discretionarily in secret mining contract negotiations. In instances, where the government takes all reasonable steps to make the mining contracts equitable and transparent multi-national corporations engage in hideous schemes of tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion . A major contributing factor to this hemorrhaging of the African continent in this critical sector has been the lack of transparency and oversight of the financial remittances from mining companies to government institutions and the inability/lack of capacity in government regulatory institutions to audit the very complex multinational mining companies’ accounts/transactions.

Almost every African country faces critical challenges relating to contracts in the extractive sector (mining, fisheries, forestries, etc). The objective of this launch is to create an opportunity for interaction between and amongst with policy markers, parliamentarians, civil society practitioners, academics and citizens to critically engage the findings and recommendations of this report.

It is further hoped that these interactions will bring out practical suggestions for taking the recommendations forward in Kenya and beyond. The research report and inputs from subject experts will provide the background for deliberation and discussion at launch

The launch will take place on 25th March 2009 at Nairobi Safari Club, Nairobi, Kenya.

Time: 10h00 – 12h00

We hope you will accept our invitation and join us as a valuable participant as we take this opportunity to share the findings of the study on breaking the curse: how transparent taxation and fair taxes can turn Africa’s mineral wealth into Development.

Kindly confirm your availability soon by emailing Wole Olaleye: wole.olaleye@actionaid.org or call on: 020 425 0000/445 1041/3

Sincerely

Brian Kagoro
Pan Africa Policy Manager
ActionAid -Africa Region
Nairobi, Kenya

Alvin Mosioma
Coordinator
Tax Justice Network for Africa
Nairobi, Kenya

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