Global Partnership can boost tax collection, cut illicit flows in Africa,says Finance Minister

Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala-manag-001Nigerian Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation is a key international tool to help developing countries cut illicit flows and improve tax collection.

“This is what my continent is so keen about. The Global Partnership has a key role to play in helping developing countries, especially African countries, boost domestic resources and collect more taxes to fund their own development”, Okonjo-Iweala stated

The Minister made the remarks today in Abuja, at a two-day event organized by the Global Partnership for Effective Co-operation, of which she is Co-chair, to finalise the agenda and details for its First High Level meeting set for April 15-16 in Mexico City.

“Through work on improving our tax administration in Nigeria, we’re collecting five times more now than we were 10 years ago. But there is so much more potential here” she added.

Africa as whole loses around 50 billion dollars a year through tax evasion, undeclared business and corruption according to the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa that is led by former South-African President Thabo Mbeki.

“Resources flow out of Africa but they end up somewhere”, Mbeki said recently at a high level panel briefing in Paris.

Boosting domestic resource mobilisation and cutting illicit flows will be a key topic at the Mexico meeting, which will be hosted by the Mexican President. The event will bring together over a thousand participants, including Heads of State and Government and development leaders from business, civil society organisations, private foundations and other key representatives.

Delegates will also tackle global progress in implementing commitments on effective development co-operation, development co-operation in middle-income countries, the role of business in development, co-operation with and by other Southern countries and knowledge exchange for development results.

“The Mexico meeting also marks a major opportunity for global development leaders to show how the Global Partnership provides a key forum to support the implementation of new global development goals post-2015”, said Okonjo-Iweala.

The Millennium Development Goals, the global anti-poverty targets agreed in 2000, expire in 2015. The world is undergoing debates and negotiations on a framework to replace them to 2030.

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