Effective domestic revenue mobilization is essential to development in Africa. It indeed provides governments with the financial resources they need to fund development projects and meet their Sustainable Development Goals. However, taxation continues to represent a challenge on the continent, partly due to a lack of the necessary technological tools. To create awareness around this issue, and to get input from relevant industry players, GVG will be hosting a webinar discussing the role of technology in driving domestic revenue mobilization.
Driving domestic revenue mobilization: a hot topic
GVG is preparing to host a webinar entitled Driving Domestic Revenue Mobilization Through Technology in November of this year. As GVG’s initiative, the webinar will be attended by James Claude, our CEO. Other participants will include stakeholders from across the digital financial services sector, among whom Osioke Ojior, Co-Founder & CEO of Covenda (UK) and Board Advisor to RegTech Africa, and Lorraine Masinde, Founder and Senior Compliance Consultant for RegTech Compliance.
The purpose of the session is to explore the benefits of technology when it comes to driving domestic revenue mobilization in Africa, to help governments secure financing for development projects. The discussion will revolve around a set of questions aiming to leverage the participants’ knowledge and experience in relation to revenue mobilization in Africa. These questions will include topics such as causes of, and solutions for, the revenue gap, the role of technology, and the participants’ view of Africa’s fiscal future. For James Claude, this webinar will be “an opportunity to shed greater light on ways African governments can seek to better their yearly collections and secure funding for both local and regional projects.”
The webinar will take place on Thursday 3 November at 15:00 CET.
Interested parties can register by clicking on the following link: https://www.globalvoicegroup.com/upcoming-webinar/.
The revenue mobilization challenge in Africa
According to the OECD, revenue mobilization – or taxation – enables governments to finance the infrastructure on which economic development is based. It also plays an instrumental role in promoting growth, by providing a stable tax ecosystem. And finally, it helps ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of development, as well as shares its costs. It is therefore vital for African governments to ensure effective revenue mobilization if they are to meet their Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, achieving these crucial goals requires a substantial increase in investment.
However, despite the importance of revenue mobilization for development, African governments miss out on much-needed tax revenue every year. The tax-to-GDP ratio varies greatly on the continent. The lowest is 8% in the DRC and the highest 29.4% in Tunisia. On average, African countries collect less than 18% of their GDP in tax, compared to over 34% in OECD countries. The Sub-Saharan region is even more affected by this revenue gap. Indeed, out of the 30 countries the OECD included in its Revenue Statistics in Africa 2021 report, only half can boast the tax-to-GDP ratio of 15% recommended by the World Bank. Even though it is true that these ratios have increased over the past few years, these figures show that there is clearly still scope for African countries to strengthen their fiscal capabilities.
The role of technology in driving revenue mobilization
The World Bank states that there are four main reasons why a revenue gap exists in some African countries. These are low tax capacity, lack of a “good” tax system, low tax effort and globalization. The World Bank also mentions ICT as one of the tools required to support tax effort, as it has the capacity to strengthen tax administration. Indeed, it brings down hurdles to effective tax collection, such as the lack of reliable data and an obsolete, paper-based tax administration. However, technology could also be of use in creating a “good” tax system, technical efficiency being one of the four basic elements that underpin such a system.
As an international provider of RegTech and GovTech solutions to governments and regulatory authorities, GVG supports this argument. For more than 20 years now, we have helped our clients in emerging countries secure the tax revenue from key economic sectors. Indeed, we develop and deliver digital solutions that enable them to efficiently fulfill their mandate, by providing them with actionable data for decision-making and revenue assurance purposes. Our extensive experience enables us to state that digital technologies have become a crucial asset for governments, regulators and tax administrations alike to modernize and streamline their revenue mobilization processes.
Africa needs funds for its development, and effective taxation allows governments to access these funds. And since the World Bank has identified technology as one of the building blocks of revenue mobilization, GVG, as a leading developer of revenue assurance solutions, considered it both worthwhile and important to gather stakeholders from the digital financial services to facilitate a discussion on the role of technology when it comes to driving domestic revenue mobilization in Africa. If you have an interest in finding out more about this topic, we would be delighted to welcome you to our webinar. Please click on the following link to register: https://www.globalvoicegroup.com/upcoming-webinar/.
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