The project aims to identify links between corruption, the lack of business and political integrity, tax crimes, corrupt tax administrations and multinationals. It will also promote concepts of good tax governance and the importance of an honest, transparent tax system for economic development. To accomplish these goals, the project will bring together academia, business and government.
University experts will review legislation and tax treaties and develop proposals for improving laws in order to build a more transparent legal framework. In addition, multinationals and companies operating in African countries will contribute insights based on their experience and understanding of practicalities and solutions.
Finally, tax administrations will implement and enforce sound public governance and efficient tax systems to lay a better foundation for future investments and build investor confidence in a corruption-free environment. The project will support these measures by showing how law enforcement agencies and tax authorities can cooperate to counter corruption and bribery.
"Since Siemens installed South Africa's first telegraph line between Cape Town and Simon's Town back in 1860, we have continued to support all African countries in their journey to growth and prosperity. But oftentimes, uncertainties and inconsistencies in tax law and tax practice have set barriers to cross-border trade and investment. This is why we truly believe that this project can make a difference: bringing world-class academia, business and government together to work for a better future – for Africa and for all of us," said Dr. Christian Kaeser, Global Head of Tax and Corporate Vice President, Siemens AG.
"This project has the potential to help achieve a fair and more transparent business environment in Africa and to assist African governments to counter the billions of dollars of illicit outflows to tax havens," said Jeffrey Owens, Director of WU Global Tax Policy Center.
WU Global Tax Policy Center strives to deliver excellence by achieving a balance between tax systems, which protect the revenue base of countries, while providing an environment that encourages sustainable growth. "We are a solid and competent team, and this project will build better and more efficient tax systems and practices – which is essential for the economies of African countries. The project events will be held in both Vienna and Pretoria, linking the heart of Europe with the traditional center of commerce in sub-Saharan Africa."
The project will focus on Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, but its outcomes could be replicated in other African countries and in other regions. Implementing and enforcing sound public governance and efficient tax systems and practices is essential for enabling African countries to mobilize their domestic revenue resources.
More information on the Siemens Integrity Initiative is available at: www.siemens.com/integrity-initiative