The Pan-African Parliament and the African Tax Administration Forum signed a memorandum of understanding on 29 October in Kigali in a bid to strengthen tax legislations in Africa and combat illicit financial flows. The five-year agreement is to formalise co-operation between the institutions on tax policy and tax administration reforms on the continent.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reinforced co-operation between the governments of South Africa and Germany on bilateral and global issues at the G20 Investment Summit and the G20 Compact with Africa Conference in Berlin. He underscored the critical importance of German investment to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the Presidency said on 31 October.
Investment was needed in hard infrastructure such as roads and broadband connections in developing countries if they were to prosper in the new digital economy and attain the Sustainable Development Goals, speakers said at the World Investment Forum’s Global Leaders Investment Summit on 24 October. But stable regulatory and fiscal regimes were a precondition of attracting such investment.
The Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000, regulates relations between the EU and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, but it is set to expire in 2020. Negotiations for a new treaty have been under way since the end of September. “But these are not self-fulfilling,” warns Evita Schmieg from Germany’s German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
The African Union declared 2018 the year of combating corruption in Africa, and the chairperson of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, Bégoto Miarom, revealed that 40 nations had already signed the convention on anti-corruption. They were now collectively looking to implement strategies and share information that could be effective across the continent.
Domestic public resources are identified as fundamental for development financing. One of the ways in which countries can mobilise these resources is by increasing tax revenues, yet this remains a key challenge for some. What can be done?
The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference ended with a strong call to countries to renew their commitments to the fight against corruption. Martin Bille Hermann, Denmark’s state secretary for development policy, urged countries to endorse the High-Level Segment Joint Statement, adding that it would act as a tool that activists and watchdogs could use to hold their governments, organisations, and businesses to account.
Africa is already tapping into the possibilities created by digitalisation and the mobile revolution. At the same time, three quarters of the African population lack access to the internet. “In simple terms, insufficient emphasis on this area will result in missed economic opportunities for the next generation of African people and businesses,” says Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD secretary-general.
The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme “Together for development, peace and security: now is the time to act”. The ambition is to move the fight against corruption from words to action.
Discussion about WTO reform must be inclusive, said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo at a meeting of the full membership on 16 October. He also pointed to the links between this debate and efforts to solve the rising trade tensions between some major trading partners.
The African Union Commission, Economic Commission for Africa and African Development Bank pledged to continue working together to influence, strengthen and enable the transition to climate-resilient development in Africa through responsive policies, plans and programmes focusing on building transformed economies and healthy ecosystems on the continent.
Conclusions from the final meeting of the year of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, held in France on 8-9 October 2018, will be submitted at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires next month. The meeting addressed how to improve standards of transparency and accountability across the G20.
“Transparency and the rule of law are pillars that put people at the centre of our agenda,” said Argentine President, Mauricio Macri said at the first ever J20 meeting in Argentina. “Co-operation and dialogue between judicial systems are key to addressing global challenges.”
The outlook of the global economy remained positive, while global growth projections remained steady, it was agreed at the fourth G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Indonesia. The global economic leaders discussed risks to the world economy and infrastructure development, among other topics.
The 2018 edition of the WTO’s flagship publication, the World Trade Report, finds that digital technologies will have a profound impact on global trade, adding up to 34 percentage points to trade growth by 2030 thanks to lower costs and higher productivity. However, they could also create a challenging environment for those seeking to keep up with the latest innovations.
The BRICS Business Council’s South African chapter opened the inaugural BRICS 2018 Future Skills Challenge and Expo to discuss the future of work. The aim was to achieve and increase, among other things, bilateral and multilateral co- operation between BRICS countries as far as skills development for Industry 4.0 were concerned.
Designing tools to finance infrastructure projects and multilateral trade was a focus of discussion at the Summit of the Business 20 (B20), attended by business leaders from around the world.
Increasing the generation of domestic sources of revenue is key to funding the Sustainable Development Goals. Often the countries that face the steepest development challenges also face the greatest challenges in collecting taxes – leading to chronic underinvestment in physical and human capital. This debate, on 10 October 2018, is part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, 8-14 October 2018, in Bali, Indonesia.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development forum, with the overall theme of “Investing in sustainable development”, will address global challenges for international investment in the new era of globalisation and industrialisation.
The 2018 Global Infrastructure Forum aims to enhance co-ordination among multilateral development banks and their development partners to better develop sustainable, accessible, resilient and quality infrastructure for developing countries.
The GEGAfrica project has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.