The African Tax Administration Forum has developed into an international Pan African organization that is providing its members with the most up-to-date activities, technical guidance and creative topics for discussions at a continental level. In only its fifth year of existence, ATAF has already made its mark and ensured that the African voice on tax matters is well-presented and articulated on the global stage. Moreover, the organization has represented African interests and those of its members with distinction, particularly during the OECD-led Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan process.
It is therefore pleasing to see the evolution of yet another strategic outlook focusing on ensuring that ATAF becomes the premier pan-African organization on tax matters. Supported by a diverse and agile secretariat, ATAF members will have the full benefit of its collective knowledge and expertise in a fast-changing international tax landscape. The strategic outlook for the next five years will therefore ensure that, by 2020, the organization remains as committed to tackling capacity challenges for its member countries while enriching their technical work through specific interventions on the most complex issues in the taxation of cross border supply.
Moreover, as we move into the next five years, our commitment will also be on providing unique and insightful research on African tax matters that engage both African academics and those beyond our continent. The cornerstone of developing work schedules that reflect our members’ needs will ultimately rely on innovative research that highlights African priorities on the global tax agenda. Our members will be able to look forward to an annual African Tax Outlook publication which will become the most valuable insight into African tax priorities, for Africans, by Africans.
Combining these elements, ATAF is further focused on providing direct technical assistance through both international and African technical experts to its member countries. This has the added advantage of giving members the opportunity to work with a global perspective and through peer learning. It further strengthens our commitment to sharing information and tax officials in joint audits through our African Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters.
Globally, we remain committed to representing African tax interests and perspectives through the formation of technical groups whose mandate is to reflect African realities in a globalized economy. I am encouraged that our base work on the international stage is immensely beneficial to ATAF member countries and we invite all our African brothers and sisters to experience the benefits of a united Africa on tax matters.
ATAF is more than ever focused on providing technical skills to member countries and to ensuring that they own the organization by also seconding staff to the Secretariat. Over the next five years, ATAF will showcase more premium meetings, putting African minds together on how best to secure African tax bases, and ensuring that skills are shared to make African revenue authorities formidable in their tasks of improving the lives of the people of the continent.
I look forward to seeing the results of the implementation of this new Strategic Plan for the period 2016 – 2020 and its impact on developing more effective and efficient tax administration on the African continent.