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Illicit Financial Flows Higher Than Official Aid To Africa




Africa’s tax administrators and policy makers should work together to transform tax systems for Africa to fund its own development needs through tax revenues says Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s  Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Minister Ndagijimana made the remarks on Monday at the Africa Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) high-level dialogue, a two-day conference which brings together key stakeholders at both policy and administration levels to form a proposed network that will ensure coordinated tax policy and tax administration decisions and actions in the ever-changing global tax environment.

“You should set a clear roadmap on how the continent will undertake the tax transformation agenda by paying more attention on how tax policies are made, effectiveness and efficiency of tax administration as well as collaboration of different key players,” Minister Ndagijimana said.

Minister Ndagijimana revealed that “The level of resources lost through Illicit financial flows are higher than the official aid received by Africa.” He said that Africa’s tax to GDP ratio is below 18% , adding that it loses over US$ 50 billion in illicit financial flows.

“We will not develop at the rate we wish, if we are not able to mobilize domestic resources in a more effective manner,” he warned.

“For Africa to improve its tax position, we must act now to improve both our tax policies and the capacity of tax administrations. This will reduce our dependence on foreign aid, drainage of Africa’s resources; increase our domestic investments, job creation and ultimately economic growth,” added Minister Ndagijimana.

ATAF Executive Secretary Logan Wort said that “Redesigning tax policies and building capable tax administration will be crucial in plugging illicit financial flows and increasing resources mobilization.

At ATAF we have championed increased tax policy dialogue to try and bridge the impact of Africa tax policies with the output of tax administration.”


According to the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority, Richard Tusabe, tax systems in Africa face numerous challenges including deficiencies in domestic tax laws, limited exchange of information networks, poorly negotiated treaties and capacity constraints within tax administration among others.

He further noted that loopholes in tax laws and inadequate international tax cooperation has helped multinationals to shift profits to other jurisdictions leaving Africa with low tax revenues.

To address these issues, Tusabe called for adherence to international standards on tackling tax avoidance as well as promoting transparency and information sharing.

“We should enact strong and effective legislation that takes into account the difference between countries tax rules and those of major trading partners to minimize chances of creating mismatches in tax laws. We need to identify areas that are relevant to our situation not only in regard to global standards setting but in actual implementation of the standards,” Tusabe said.

Under the Agenda 2063, Africa committed to strengthen domestic resource mobilization, build continental capital markets and financial institutions, and reverse the illicit flows of capital from the continent, in order to: Build effective, transparent and harmonized tax and revenue collection systems; Reduce aid dependency; Enhance domestic savings and eliminate all forms of illicit flows.

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Kagame Advocates For Investment Into Africa’s Agriculture Value Chain



Agriculture and agri-business, especially in Africa, will drive the continent’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, President Paul Kagame has said.

“This is especially true as we work to make
up for the time lost to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said adding that, “Each country and region must chart its own pathway to transformation, but this is also a global challenge that we must address together.”

Kagame was speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee at the official ceremony of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 Pre-Summit.

In Africa, he continued, 70% of the working-age population is employed in the agricultural sector.

“But our continent’s food markets are often fragmented, and links to food processing and value addition services are sometimes lacking,” the President said.

He noted that digital technologies and biotechnology are playing a greater role in African agriculture, but too many farmers do not yet have reliable access.

And that financial services and products for farmers, including insurance, are generally inadequate.

“As a result, Africa’s food producers do not earn the level of income that they deserve, and they must cope with high levels of economic risk and uncertainty,” Kagame added.

According to the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, David Beasley, 41 million people are on the brink of famine today.

“Planet earth, shame on us that we let a single person go to bed hungry,” said.

“We have the expertise to end hunger, but we urgently need the money. This is a global call to action – all hands on deck,” he added.

Transformation is a necessity, according to Presidemt Kagame.

This is why the African Union Development Agency, NEPAD, has worked to facilitate an African Common Position in advance of the Food Systems Summit, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Kagame offered two proposition.

Africa will pursue solutions in the following priority tracks:

One, adopt nutritious food policies, establish food reserves, and expand school feeding programs.

Two, support local markets and food supply chains, invest in agro-processing for healthy foods, and expand trade in food products within Africa.

The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for the UN’ Food Systems Summit, Agnes M. Kaliba,  told participants that the summit is much very powerful than she thought.

“The energy,  and hopes in each room today were palpable!. We need to leverage the incredible power of food to deliver a step change in the SDGs- this is a one in a generation opportunity,” she said.

Myrna Cunningham, speaking for Indiginous People, said that, “Our current Food Systems is based on extreme irresponsibility; We need a food system that is based on rights including Economic empowerement and rights and rights to land.”

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Airtel Rwanda MD Steps Down



It is learnt through reliable sources that Amit Chawla has decided to step down after completing a three-year term as Managing Director for Airtel Rwanda.

Normally, he would have had his contract extended or rotated to another operation in the company’s footprints, but a source told Taarifa that he is leaving the industry to do other businesses.

A new executive will be announced soon, it is said.

Amit, who took over the newly merged entity on August 31, 2018, during which time he oversaw the achievements of several milestones.

Chief among his accomplishments include the consolidation of the brand Airtel after the takeover of Tigo, its people, products and services as well as modernization of the country’s network, a project that saw the expansion of the Airtel Rwanda Network and saw the consolidation of Airtel’s reputation as the internet provider of choice for Mobile Internet in Rwanda.

During his time with the organization as MD, Airtel Rwanda oversaw great changes. Under his leadership, programs grew and services became more easily available to all customers.

Chawla led the company’s pandemic response that saw Airtel Rwanda direct its CSR budget towards governments efforts to tackle the initial response to the Global pandemic.

Under his leadership, Airtel has gained a reputation for launching ground breaking and bold campaigns such as the recent Va Kugiti Campaign that generated a lot of buzz in the Rwandan market.

Chawla, also oversaw the successful roll out of the Airtel Money Branch (AMB) concept, with 71 shops opened in Kigali alone.

The AMB’s concept has completely revolutionized the proximity of a telecom operator to her network of Agents and Freelancers, enabling them to access up to Rwf5 million within walking distance.

Chawla was unavailable for comment.


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First Chinese Electric Car To Reach Europe Disrupts Markets



Chinese automaker Aiways has resorted to livestreaming its all-electric cars to potential clients across the globe.

“The design is very simple and uncluttered,” one of the presenters said as she detailed the U5’s design and capabilities. “The car is modern, and even the mode of distribution is modern.”

“Modern” distribution here means replicating the “live commerce” experience of Aiways’ home country — using livestreaming events to drum up interest and sales online. The company ships its cars through local partners to customers in Europe from its factory in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi.

That arrangement helps Aiways keep prices down. The U5 is priced from around 39,000 euros ($46,000), 10% to 15% cheaper than its rivals, according to the company.

Alexander Klose, the Aiways executive vice president in charge of overseas operations says, “We have some challenges, but overall, I would say it has been fairly positive for us, and we have seen a fairly positive recognition.”

Aiways is not alone: A growing number of Chinese EV makers are setting their sights on overseas markets — and they intend to compete on quality as much as price.

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett, is betting on Norway. It shipped its first 100 European-specification SUVs to dealers there this June, and it plans to deliver 1,500 by the end of the year.

Like Aiways, BYD is keen to take advantage of overseas consumers’ improving perception of Chinese products.

“We are not going to make the same mistakes as other Chinese brands did more than 10 years ago in the European theater. They tried to launch vehicles in a very cheap and rushed way, without being fully prepared,” a BYD spokesperson told Nikkei Asia.

“Most people haven’t heard of BYD until now, so it is more important to do things right than [to] start talking about [sales volume].”

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