ABOUT US$600 million has been provided as financial and technical support to the Zambian Government over the last three years to enhance domestic resource mobilisation.
This is aimed at broadening the country’s tax base, African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) executive secretary Logan Wort said.
He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the just-ended African Union (AU) Specialised Technical Meetings for Finance Ministers in Lusaka.
Mr Wort indicated that ATAF was a pan African forum setup to provide networking platform for Intra-African collaboration and peer learning between tax administration.
In Zambia, ATAF was working closely with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to enhance its tax collection through digital technology.
As a result of this, Mr Wort said Zambia through ZRA had been assisted to broaden its tax base and improve revenue collection.
ATAF aims to improve the capacity of African tax administrations, enhance the role of taxation in governance and state building, and provide a voice for African tax administrations and administrators among others.
It strives to build efficient and effective tax administrations in Africa to become the leader on African tax matters, enhance economic development and improve the living standards of the people of Africa.
ATAF was offering a wide range of training and technical assistance programmes that allowed governments across Africa to be offered with various support.
“For example, much of the US$ 600 million has gone towards our project with ZRA where we helping to build capacity so that ZRA can collect more revenue for Zambia especially in the extractive sector,” Mr Wort said.
He said ATAF was also offering support to the financial and the telecommunication sectors of Zambia.
Mr Wort said ATAF was working with tax authorities to optimize revenue collection, broaden the tax base and enhance revenue collection.
This was aimed at reducing the revenue gaps to curb illicit financial flows out of Africa.
He said ZRA officials were being exposed to auditing skills to deal with transfer pricing which contributes to more than 66 per cent of total revenue losses in Africa.
African countries realised the need to decrease their reliance on oversees aid and the need to be in control of the continent’s development themselves through increased capacity in the mobilization of domestic resources.
Mr Wort said domestic revenue collection would help Zambia have more funds to be channeled to other needy areas like health and education sectors.
Zambia like other African countries should focus on wealth creation to reduce the debt burden which is hindering economic development.
ATAF was established by African revenue authorities in the wake of the 2008 financial and economic crisis and of the subsequent fall of foreign aid and foreign direct investment to African countries