Past Event

Tax and Development short course (Africa)

From 15 Feb 2016 9:00 until 18 Feb 2016 17:00

Exact location to be confirmed,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Closing date for application has passed: 6th November 2015

This course offers an opportunity to get to get an understanding of the main issues in taxation in developing countries; and to share knowledge amongst practitioners and researchers. It is designed for a broad, non-technical audience of practitioners and policymakers interested in or working on tax revenue mobilisation.

Why taxation?

Taxation is widely recognised as a core issue in development both in its own right as a source of development finance and because of how it can contribute e to sustainable development, democratic institutions and state building. It will be a central to financing the Sustainable Development Goals and donors already made a commitment to step up their efforts in this area under the Addis Tax Initiative. Despite this increasing policy attention, expertise on tax remains scattered.

Why choose this course?

The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the IDS-based International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) are leading centres of expertise on taxation and development, having worked for several years in this area and in close collaboration with an international network of experts and practitioners.

Expert trainers

The course has been developed and will be delivered by internationally recognised experts in the field of taxation, who offer a mix of excellent research and teaching records as well as extended practical experience in developing countries.

Who should attend?

The course is aimed at a broad, non-technical audience and will include those interested in working on tax matters, or those who have recently started working on tax either marginally or as a core part of their work; those who are active in the broad area of public economics and public finance or working on tax or related issues.

We welcome participants from a range of different sectors including academia, bilateral and multilateral donors, civil society, law and judiciary, media, private foundations and revenue authorities.

Course content and structure

The role of taxation in development

  • Tax revenue bargaining, statebuilding, government accountability, and the social contract between governments and citizens.
  • Tax mix in developing countries, global trends in revenue mobilisation, main drivers and constraints to increasing revenues in developing countries.
  • Interactions of taxation with international trade and industrial development, and other economic policies. 

International taxation

  • Taxation of multinational corporations in developing countries: transfer pricing, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), tax havens, fiscal incentives.
  • Taxation in the extractive industries in natural resource-rich countries
  • Current international processes led by the OECD: automatic exchange of information and the BEPS agenda. Participation of developing countries in international processes.

Sub-national taxation

  • Local government financing: intergovernmental transfers, sharing formulas, and local taxation.
  • What are the main political and economic constraints to local tax generation? Property taxation: country experiences, potential for local revenue generation, and main challenges.
  • Experiences on successful (or not) local revenue generation from developing countries.

The experience of tax administrations

  • Key challenges faced by tax administrations in developing countries: capacity gaps, staff retention, adoption of IT systems, enforcement and compliance, decentralisation.
  • Recent experiences in establishing and modernising revenue authorities
  • Research to support policy in revenue administrations: how can researchers and practitioners work together to improve tax policy and administration in developing countries? 

The course is structured around four full-day sessions that combine knowledge-sharing from tax experts with open discussions amongst participants. The typical day will include a taught session outlining the main issues and conceptual framework for the topic of the day to bring all participants up to speed and set the stage for the discussion.

A minimum of two trainers will always be available in each day to ensure that participants are offered more than just one point of view. The course is highly interactive and participants are asked to take an active role by sharing their experiences. Group discussions will focus on what these experiences mean in the broader context of taxation and development, which helps to consolidate theoretical learning with practical experience.

Entry requirements

The course is taught in English and to derive the maximum benefit from the course, participants should be proficient in English and able to follow and take an active part in course discussions. We do not require any previous knowledge of taxation, but current or perspective engagement in this area would allow participants to derive maximum benefit.


  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: £900 GBP

ATAF member countries interested in taking part in the course will be offered a discounted fee in accordance with their status. They are invited to contact [email protected] for more information about the fees and the mode of payment.

Includes: course administration costs, trainer fees, course materials and related resources, lunch and tea/coffee each day of the course and two evening dinners.

Excludes: travel costs, accommodation and any other expenses. Please note that places on the course are not guaranteed until full payment has been received.

Scholarships available

There are a limited number of scholarships available.

Please note that scholarships are assigned based on a highly competitive process, so if you can secure funding from your organisation you will have better chances of obtaining a place on the course.

How to apply

Closing date for application has passed: 6th November 2015

Successful applicants will receive an invoice, followed by a confirmation of your place on the course and a letter to support your visa application (if required) once we have received your payment for the course. Please note that we cannot guarantee your place until full payment has been received.


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