The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General Githii Mburu has been appointed as the first Chairperson of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Africa Initiative. 

Africa Initiative is a programme launched in 2014 by OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum), its African members and various partners.

The body seeks to unpack the benefits of tax transparency and exchange of information (EOI) to fight tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) and serve African countries’ development.

Following a reorganisation of its governance structure, Mburu was appointed to provide leadership for a one year term.

His appointment was preceded by the member countries’ ratification of a proposal to extend the Africa Initiative operating term and mandate for a further three year period beyond December 2020.

Initially launched for a three-year period (2015-2017), the Initiative was renewed in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2017 for another three years (2018-2020) to make it the flagship programme of the Global Forum which has inspired other continental programmes across the world.

Through Africa Initiative, the number of African countries involved in international work on tax transparency has grown from four in 2009 to current 32 serving as members of the Global Forum.

The development means advancement in the establishment of a culture of Exchange of Information that has helped generate additional tax revenues for individual member states.

The initiative said the African jurisdictions now boast of an eightfold increase in the number of requests for information sent, which in turn, have yielded USD 189 million of additional revenue between 2014 and 2019.

On the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) landscape, globally, around EUR 102 billion has been recovered through voluntary disclosure programmes prior to the first automatic exchange of information, including EUR 27 billion for developing countries.

In Africa, Nigeria reported USD 82 million and South Africa USD 296 million.

Speaking while addressing the Global Forum Virtual Plenary session, Mburu expressed his commitment to champion the adoption of robust tax evasion programmes across Africa.

“While the global the community has moved to combat tax evasion and other forms of illicit financial flows, the African continent has lagged. For this reason, I commit to actively champion efforts to unlock the potential of tax transparency and Exchange of Information for African countries,” he said.