The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) in collaboration with the Mauritius Council of Social Services (MACOSS) will launch a book in April 2017. This book is a research report on the "Analysis of the loan contraction process and debt management- the case of Mauritius ".
More details on the date and venue of the launch will be available soon.
Opa Kapijimpanga is the Founder and Chairman of AFRODAD’s Board of Trustees. As a development practitioner with many years of experience in development work Opa served in Government, Development Banking, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Support, NGOs and donor organisations.
His practice includes vast knowledge in project and program evaluations and impact analysis. As a semi academic he has contributed to several high level discussions through publications and presentations.
Mr. Kapijimpanga’s work experience include contributions to the Zambian Government in the Ministry of Economic and Technical Coooperation, Ministry of Finance (Budget Section), National Commission for Development Planning; Development Bank of Zambia, Small Scale Enterprises Promotion Limited, Canadian Universities Services Overseas (Botswana Country Director), HIVOS Foundation of the Netherlands, AFRODAD (as Executive Director) and Canadian International Development Agency Program Support Unit (Director).
Opa holds a Masters degree in Economics specialising in national and project planning. He has a passion for Results Based systems planning and analysis.
Strategic Objective 3: To advocate for and mobilise support for formulation and implementation of rules and regulations to tackle Illicit Financial Flows from Africa
Africa still struggles to increase domestic resources in the face of high levels of capital flight and limited capacity to collect revenues from multinational corporations (MNCs), particularly those engaged in natural resource extraction. MNC practices are the main causes of illicit financial outflows from the continent and a major obstacle to Africa's domestic resource mobilization efforts, depriving her of crucial investable funds for addressing poverty and structural transformations. Capital flight and stolen assets from sub-Saharan Africa between 1970 and 2010 was estimated at US$ 814 billion, exceeding both Official Development Assistance (US$659billion) and Foreign Direct Investment (US$ 306 billion) over the same period. Hence the need to combat illicit financial flows from the continent and stop the outflow of capital which could otherwise be used to finance the provision of public services such as health and education, as well as key infrastructure such as roads, railways, bridges and power plants which are all key to Africa’s industrialisation and overall socio-economic growth and development.
Robust regulatory frameworks are key to curbing IFFs and increasing the resource base for financing the development initiatives and will therefore contribute to reducing IFFs from the continent by promoting the fight against IFFs at policy level nationally, regionally and internationally.
Tax abuse by corporations and high net -worth individuals forces Governments to raise revenue from other sources, including through regressive taxes and this has a disproportionate burden on the poor and most vulnerable sectors of the society. This has important human rights implications because regressive tax structures limit the redistributive impact of social programmes since they effectively end up being funded by the very people they are supposed to benefit. The need to make up revenue shortfalls through regressive taxes thus further undermines the realization of economic and social rights for the most vulnerable.
This has further implications for gender equality. When low income households face deteriorating public services, many women and girls are forced to take on the additional costs of unpaid care needs.
Thematic Focus Area 2- Debt Management
Strategic Objective 1: Improved government transparency and accountability on public debt borrowing
The evidence gathered by AFRODAD over the years shows increased sovereign borrowings by the majority of SSA member countries. Borrowed resources should be used to fund poverty reduction and economic growth initiatives. Persistent budget deficits, lack of adequate funds for infrastructure development and the need to develop domestic financial markets among others are some of the factors that are continuing to put pressure on African governments to borrow both externally and internally. Consequently, regardless of such initiatives as the HIPC and MDRI which helped to reduce the debt burdens of some of the highly indebted countries external debt has been on the rise.
Since the development and publication of AFRODAD Borrowing Charter (2011) - principles and guidelines on sovereign financial borrowing, successful lobby and advocacy campaigns have been embarked upon. The Charter provides principles and guidelines that should guide and inform sovereign borrowing with the aim to contribute to the improvement of current weak administrative, institutional and legal processes for loan contraction and public debt management. AFRODAD will continue to lobby borrowing countries especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa to adapt the principles and guidelines, so as to ensure efficient and effective use of debt resources to prevent recurrence of the debt crisis and make governments accountable to their citizens.
AFRODAD will advocate to governments to ensure that fiscal, trade and general macroeconomic policies are designed to promote women’s economic empowerment and that they do not cause adverse gender impacts. It also emphasises that women should be actively involved in the development of macroeconomic policies, programmes and implementation strategies (SDG strategies, trade agreements and national budgets) and calls for gender analysis and gender equality provisions to be integrated into all PRSPs and other poverty reduction strategies. Gender mainstreaming is required with respect to all public expenditure, and gender-responsive budgeting offers a practical application of this that can make best use of limited resources and improve the effectiveness of fiscal policies.
Without gender analysis of the distribution of adjustment costs and benefits – both social and economic – between debtors, creditors and investors, women’s increased unpaid work, the deterioration in their health and the decline in their capabilities remain invisible, which is likely to give a false impression of the effectiveness of policy and development strategies. Both human rights standards and economic efficiency arguments call for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Without gender mainstreaming, there is little chance that efforts to reduce and manage external debt will bring about substantial poverty reduction and improve the lives of both women and men.
Strategic Objective 1: To advocate for a fair and effective tax system for financing development in Africa.
Taxation should be viewed within the broader perspective of DRM as it is fundamental to state building and forms the foundation of the social contract between state and citizen. It is well recognized that without taxation there can be no viable state (OECD and AFDB 2010). In this context, there is growing concern that heavy reliance on resources other than broad-based domestic taxation can be a disincentive to develop institutional capacity, accountability to citizens and ultimately promoting prosperity. Governments therefore need to create conditions that are necessary to contribute to employment creation and revenue generation which are important sources of state legitimacy.
Furthermore beyond its financing role, DRM thus helps to strengthen fiscal institutions, which, often, are viewed as imperatives of state building, and key to improving accountability. In essence, more effective and transparent tax systems can contribute to broader governance reforms in Africa. Also, less dependency on external finances can promote domestic ownership of development programmes, thereby helping to improve the allocation of resources in a way that maximises social outcomes. DRM could therefore help lay a solid foundation for a ‘new Africa’ and one in which no-one gets left behind.
With this in mind, AFRODAD believes that fair, transparent, equitable and improved taxation systems in Africa are key to broadening the resource base for financing various development initiatives in Africa as well as contributing to solving the unfair and inefficient tax systems that penalizes the poor and favours the rich.
Moreover, tax systems themselves are not gender neutral and regressive taxes, such as consumption taxes, tend to disproportionately fall on women. In both cases, regressive taxes and their effects threaten to undermine substantive equality for women.
Finally, high levels of tax abuse undermine the principle of equality and non-discrimination, given that evaders end up paying less than taxpayers with the same, or less, capacity to pay.