‘Media plays critical role in tax matters’

Monday, March 11, 2019

Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Commissioner of domestic tax has underscored that the media plays very critical role in tax and tax related matters in Africa.

Presiding over the official opening of the second African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) media engagement and training in Rwandan capital, Kigali, Aimable Kayigi Habiyambere said he believe that the engagement will inform journalists about the progress they are making and the challenges and intervention required to close the gap in implementing tax policy.

The engagement brought together over 60 selected media practitioners from across Africa, including The Gambia to discuss their role in addressing emerging tax issues affecting the continent’s development.

The recent engagement was organized by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and hosted by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), intended to allow participants to delve into the conversation around and how media can unpack the significance of tax issues, how simplifying these matters can allow citizens to better understand their obligations and their contribution towards development in their countries as well as their role in holding states accountable.

The three days engagement also identified ways through which tax authorities can work with the media in making citizens more active in terms of holding states accountable.

“We are honored to host this second media engagement and training programme here in Rwanda,” Commissioner Habiyambere said.

He said as a member of the ATAF Council, Rwanda shares with ATAF the common vision of building strong revenue Authorities in Africa, as a key strategy towards domestic resource mobilization through its many capacity-building initiatives. “ATAF has helped several African tax administrations, including RRA to improve their revenue collection performance over three years.”

He said without a doubt, there are unresolved issues such as digitalisation that still need to be unpacked, saying partnering with continental media remains central to their strategy to promote equitable development for the benefit of citizens. “

He said tax envision, non-voluntary compliance, public perception on taxes, taxing the digital economy which seems to be the future of the globe, all remain challenges in the sub-region.  “You have a critical role to play in helping us to tackle these challenges because you have the power to change the public perception and to increase voluntary compliance, reduce tax envision and help us handle challenges attached to the digital economy, ” Commissioner Habiyambere told media practitioners.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh in Kigali