Uganda Host as African Tax Administrative Forum Marks 10 Years

URA's Commissioner for Customs, Dicksons Kateshumbwa (C) speaking at a news conference on Monday.

Uganda is set to host the fourth International Conference on Tax in Africa (ICTA) this month, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) announced on Monday.

The forum to be hosted in Kampala will take place from November 18 to 22. It comes at the same time the African continent marks the tenth anniversary for the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).

A number of regional events will be held across the continent throughout the year to mark the ATAF anniversary.

Speaking at a media launch in Kampala on Monday, URA’s Commissioner for Customs, Dicksons Kateshumbwa said the Forum was created in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis, as a platform that champions interests of African countries in the international tax arena.

“As a result, Africa has evolved into more effective tax systems,” he said.

The 4th International Conference on Tax in Africa (ICTA) is themed “Innovation – Digitalization and Harnessing Technology to Improve Tax Systems”.

Kateshumbwa noted that with the current wave of digitalised economies, the theme of the Forum will cover innovative solutions to the policy challenges that face countries in dealing with the taxation of digitalisation to inform the global tax debate over the next decade.

He said the ten-year anniversary highlights key milestones that the platform and members have registered since its launch in Kampala in November of 2009 “as a beacon of hope to strengthen revenue mobilization and administration on the continent”.

In 2008, in the wake of the worst financial and economic crisis that rocked the world since the 1930s, the level of aid and foreign direct investment to the developing world, including Africa, fell significantly.

A number of African countries realised the need to lessen reliance on overseas aid and for African states to take control of the continent’s development themselves through the mobilisation of domestic resources.

Part of the discussions at an International Conference on Taxation, State Building and Development in Africa held in South Africa in August 2008 was mechanisms to the successful mobilisation of domestic resources through efficient administrative systems, good governance and an effective tax system.  

One of the goals of the conference was to get off the ground an African initiative to strengthen tax administrations on the African continent and that was how the concept of ATAF was initiated.

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