Tackling tax leaks in Africa


27 July 2015

ICTs at the service of development: How Avatar Technologies fits into the World Bank’s anti-poverty plan. 

The fight against extreme poverty is on. Although progress has been made, a lot still remains to be done, for which substantial funds remain to be raised. It has become clear that emerging and developing countries cannot rely on foreign aid alone to help them out of poverty. The cruel irony is that these funds are available, just not to those who need it the most. They are drained from the developing world’s economies in the form of “dirty money”, or illicit financial flows.

The World Bank therefore urges countries worldwide to adopt a three-fold strategy to stem these illicit flows. Among others, this strategy highlights the significant role that effective tax collection plays in boosting the revenue of emerging and developing countries. It promotes the implementation of effective tax systems – especially in resource-rich countries, like the African ones –, the enforcement of regulations that will ensure that all assets are subjected to taxation and the creation of an automatic, cross-border tax information exchange system. The World Bank contributes to the fight against poverty by helping its clients in developing countries to improve their governance systems and to collect taxes.

Like the World Bank, Avatar Technologies is committed to empowering emerging and developing countries in their fight against tax evasion, especially in Africa. Every year, the continent’s governments see a staggering US$35.3 billion escape them through tax evasion and other illicit financial flows facilitated through tax havens.

Avatar’s cutting-edge tax compliance and collection optimization technologies fit right into the World Bank’s anti-poverty plan. They allow African governments to improve tax governance and transparency, and to plug tax leaks, by putting the relevant data within easy reach of the authorities.

For African countries, the resulting increase in tax revenue no doubt represents a much-needed source of funds that can be used to tackle poverty and other development issues, without having to resort to foreign aid.

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