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Ghana lags in capacity building for domestic resource mobilization – Report

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Kwassi Obossou – Interim Director for Research and Strategic Planning – Togo Revenue Office launching the report in Accra.

Ghana has been cited by the new Africa Capacity Report 2015, for not having any capacity building programme in the last three years, which is targeted at strengthening Ghana’s financial sector for domestic resource mobilization.

Financial sector strengthening meanwhile, is considered by majority of the African countries surveyed to be one area in which they highly need capacity building, along with revenue collection and fighting corruption and illicit financial flows.

Launched in Accra and Washington on December 17, the report; “Capacity Imperatives for Domestic Resource Mobilization” also cites the absence of mutual assessment by Ghana and donors, on progress when it comes to capacity development programmes for resource mobilization.

The report highlights the need for capacity building, which the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) considers central to domestic resource mobilization for Africa’s development agenda, amidst falling development assistance.

It also cites Ghana for the absence of mutual assessment by Ghana and donors, of progress made when it comes to capacity development programmes.

Furthermore, while financial inclusion is considered important to poverty reduction and increasing domestic resource mobilization, Ghana has no clear cut budgeting for women empowerment and gender-related activities and no tracking system for budgetary allocations.

The ACBF emphasised in a statement that domestic resource mobilization is not merely about increasing tax revenues.

Dr Robert Nantchouang, a Senior Knowledge Management Expert with the ACBF said that importantly, increasing transparency and communication, prudent governance and management of resources, are also very essential to increasing domestic resources.

In 2013, a total of $508.3 billion was mobilized domestically, and $61 billion by the African diaspora but the ACBF says “tax performance still leaves much to be desired, tax systems are still inefficient and costly, and significant amounts of revenue are lost as a result of tax exemptions and tax avoidance.”

Among others, the report recommends that African countries do more to attract investment from the African diaspora by providing better financial services to attract more remittances.

“The benefits of remittance flows compared to other external flows such as Foreign Direct Investment or Official Development Assistance are well known. They are less volatile, and unlike Official Development Assistance, they do not have conditions attached to them,” the report says.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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