Business News of 2014-06-02

African Economic Research Consortium workshop opens

The 39th plenary session of the African Economic Research Consortium’s (AERC) Biannual Research workshop to monitor the progress and quality of various research projects sponsored by the Consortium has opened in Accra.
The five-day event is on the theme: “Public Finance: Tax and Expenditure Reforms in Africa”. Professor Lemma Senbet, the Executive Director, AERC, speaking at the opening of the event said the Consortium has been in business of capacity building in advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He said many countries in sub-Saharan Africa were faced with a myriad of challenges with respect to taxation, indicating that, there was the urgent need for more revenues to enable poor states to provide and maintain even the most basic public services.
He said the challenge for taxation was to raise domestic revenues from consenting citizens in poor and increasingly open economies for the development of their economies. “Governments in African countries are therefore facing hard choices about public finance,” he said.
He said the role of research meeting policy has manifested itself through collaborative study projects with more immediate payoffs. Prof Senbet said these challenges notwithstanding, according to a recent African Development Bank report, tax revenue collection has improved in many African countries.
“While tax revenue collection has improved, there are many leakages and “gaps” to be plugged, leading to a more effective tax administration that would contribute to improving revenues,” he added.
Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, Governor, Bank of Ghana commended the Consortium for their contribution to the economic strives on the African continent through their workshops, programmes on economic management among others.
He said the theme for the workshop could not have come at an opportune time when most of the economies in African were experiencing volatility as well as domestic fiscal challenges. In Ghana, the Governor said government responded to the cedi depreciating with a number of instruments and set of regulations and conducts for forex bureau operators to ensure transparency.
“Unfortunately, some of these measures were misunderstood by external investors to mean, the imposition of control, however, further explanations restore the investor confidence by their participation in the current bond issues,” he added.
Source: GNA
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