Somalilandsun-The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) is making fervent preparations for its Seventh Country Correspondents Conference in Johannesburg from 31 January to 2 February. Delegates are expected from ATAF Member countries across the continent. This year, the keynote address will be given by the chairman of ATAF’s Council, Mr William Babathunde Fowler who is also the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Federal Income Revenue Service (FIRS).
For ATAF, the country correspondents are both the ambassadors for their respective revenue authorities as well as ATAF brand champions in their home countries. They are expected to maintain an effective and efficient dual communication channel between their administration and ATAF. In many ways, they deepen the democratic processes in ATAF, allowing the Forum to be more member-driven and giving critical feedback on ATAF’s ongoing activities and products.
“Country correspondents are the bedrock of ATAF,” says executive secretary Logan Wort, “for the nine years of our existence they have been most effective in alerting us to the needs, challenges and changes of our member countries.”
The three-day conference will be a mix of sessions ranging from conversations and listening sessions with delegates; aligning ATAF’s annual activity calendar with country inputs; development sessions to improve the skills of country correspondents; and giving participants a global perspective of the latest tax developments as well ATAF engagements.
In the beginning of 2017, the sixth ATAF Country Correspondents Conference placed some of the following important items on ATAF’s agenda:
• Increase number of people who can register for online courses;
• Proper induction of new country correspondents;
• Close the gap between policy makers and tax administrations;
• Strengthening of current ATAF processes; and for
• Country correspondents to be the central point of communication for all ATAF events
Many of these issues were incorporated into the work of ATAF and enriched the Forum’s activities and products for 2017. At this year’s conference, it is expected that country correspondents will inform ATAF of any changes that have may have taken place in their respective tax administrations; give feedback on ATAF activities or interventions such as technical assistance, country missions, events held in their country; and share challenges they encounter in their role as the country correspondent.
ATAF (the African Tax Administrators’ Forum) is a platform to improve the performance of tax administration in Africa. Better tax administration will enhance economic growth, increase accountability of the state to its citizens, and more effectively mobilise domestic resources. Now in its eighth year of operation and headquartered in Pretoria, ATAF seeks to:
• Improve the capacity of African tax administrations to achieve their revenue objectives;
• Advance the role of taxation in African governance and state building;
• Provide a voice for African tax administrations; and
• Develop and support partnerships between African countries and development partners.
Media Contact: Romeo Ella
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