Ministers, senior government officials from across West Africa and representatives from the NEPAD Agency met in Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday for the start of a three-day workshop focusing on tax regulation in the extractive industries. The NEPAD-led workshop, co-organized and supported by the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the German aid agency, GIZ, aims to provide an opportunity for the training of senior government officials on taxation issues and fiscal regimes by providing access to international, regional and national expertise.
In his opening remarks, Senegal’s Minister of Budget Hon. Birima Mangara noted that the workshop would contribute to developing much-needed capacity of the tax administrations of Member States from the ECOWAS and ECCAS blocs, especially in designing and implementing tax policies in the extractive industries.
Minister Mangara further highlighted that Senegal’s approach in the extractive industries sector is to promote a better distribution of wealth by bringing the national private sector on board, establishing adequate fiscal and legal frameworks which are in the interest of the country, and the signing of contracts that take into consideration the needs of the local population.
Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong with Senegal’s Minister of Budget Hon. Birima Mangara
Madame GnoukaToure Diouf, Ministre-Conseiller Economique a la Presidence de la Republique (l), Madame Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Directrice de l'Institute Africain de Developpment Econmique et de Planification (c)
NEPAD Agency Director of Programme Implementation and Coordination Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong underscored the need to harness Africa’s natural capital, noting that it was one of the critical priorities of the NEPAD 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. Lisinge-Fotabong highlighted that natural resource exploitation provides a ‘substantial opportunity to fast track human development progress’. She added that the latest figures indicate that revenues from recent oil, gas and mineral discoveries could contribute between 9 percent and 31 percent of additional government revenues for countries such asGhana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, over the first ten years of production. “In line with the African Mining Vision and Natural Resource Charter, the NEPAD Agency designed the Natural Resource Governance Programme to tackle the paradox ofgreat mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty in Africa,” she added.
Over the three days, senior policy-makers will engage seasoned experts on a widerange of issues in the extractive industries sector ranging from concessionagreements, tax holidays, off shore sales of stocks or mineral interests, transfer pricing and income tax treaties. The NEPAD Agency is expected to produce a policy paper which will be disseminated widely among Member States.
The NEPAD Agency plans to conduct similarly-themed workshops across the continent to ensure support to Member States in extractive industries sector.