Addis-Ababa – An ATAF Delegation led by the Executive Secretary, Mr Logan Wort, was received by the Ethiopian State Minister of Revenues, His Excellency Ato Tesfaye Tulu on Wednesday 20 October.
An ATAF Delegation led by the Executive Secretary, Mr Logan Wort, paid a courtesy call to the Ethiopian State Minister of Revenues, H.E. Ato Tesfaye Tulu on Wednesday 20 October. Ethiopia has been considering becoming a member of ATAF as a Pan-African organisation with expertise that speaks to areas where the country faces challenges in terms of domestic resource mobilisation. This first official meeting was therefore a further step towards formalizing relations between the two institutions.
In his introductory remarks, H.E. Ato Tesfaye expressed his appreciation for ATAF’s visit which he described as timely as the Ethiopia launched a large-scale Tax Transformation Programme in 2017 in a bid to boost revenue collection and modernize the tax system, and expressed his interest in gaining a better comprehension of ATAF’s value proposition.
He indicated that, while the recent reform efforts have improved revenues collection ,the low tax base remains a challenge and therefore calls for accelerated reforms including in areas such as exchange of information, ICT and digitalisation, data analysis and transfer pricing.
“The expansion of Multinational Companies has been a challenge of ours for a long time and we believe that ATAF’s expertise in this area and many others would be of great benefit to us. Ethiopia as a country is attracting more and more multinationals and investors, it is therefore critical for us to develop the necessary capacities to effectively tax these entities”, explained the State Minister.
Mr Wort reassured the Ethiopian delegation of ATAF’s commitment to assist African Revenue Administrations in raising more revenues. He took the opportunity to present an overview of ATAF’s work in transfer pricing technical assistance and in various other areas including capacity-building for tax officials, the taxation of the digital economy and the informal sector to name but a few.
In concluding, H.E. Ato Tesfaye reaffirmed his Administration’s appreciation of ATAF. He indicated that due process would be followed in relation to membership so that the two institutions will remain in touch to pave the way. As a way forward, both entities will now take the necessary steps to work towards formalising Ethiopia’s Membership and the Ministry of Finance will be contacted as the lead institution in this regard. While this process runs its course, ATAF and the Ministry of Revenues will start collaborating on critical technical areas, such as the challenges in transfer pricing.
ATAF currently comprises a membership of 40 countries across Africa. The continental body aims to reach at least 90% of Africa’s Revenue Administrations as members by the end of its current strategic cycle 2021 – 2025, in the quest to ensure all African countries are supported to effectively collect tax revenues.