House of Lords hosts Africa Diplomatic Tax Dialogue forum

Duncan Onduru poses for a photo with Lord David Howell, Ian Walker and Mr Campbell Evans (Scotch Whisky Association) 


The high level Diplomatic Dialogue luncheon for High Commissioners and Ambassadors from Africa was held on 9th March at the House of Lords, Westminster, London. Organized by the Washington-based International Tax and Investment Centre (ITIC), the meeting brought together a number of diplomats representing African countries in the United Kingdom.

Under the theme-Tax Governance and Investment in Africa- the meeting discussed diverse policy and administrative issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure that Africa remains an attractive destination for investment. Members noted that the projected slow growth in most of the European countries underpinned by plummeting oil and other commodity prices may have significant impact on the investment flows into Africa.

The Executive Director of CATA gave the key note address, touching on the future prospects of Foreign Direct Investment inflows into Africa and noted that the fiscal policies will continue to play a key role in this regard. The Director shared with the members some significant reform initiatives being undertaken by various African tax administrations in a bid to make compliance easier and cheaper for the investors. He however, reiterated that more needs to be done since African countries still rank poorly on the “ease-of doing-business” indicators. He called for more tax transparency on the part of the investors so that they could dispel the perception that Africa is not getting her fair share of the taxes from the multinational enterprises.  Click here for the full text of the Executive Director’s speech

Daniel Witt, the President of ITIC opened the meeting highlighting the work that his organization is doing in Africa and lauded the partnership that exists between CATA and ITIC. The meeting, hosted by Lord Meghnad Desai, was attended by representatives from the business community including British American Tobacco, SABMiller, Diageo, Chevron Corporation, Rio Tinto, and Imperial Tobacco, among others.

Gerry Cook