Tax justice focus
First Quarter 2021 ■ Volume 12 ■ Issue 1

Black lives shattered

Black lives shattered
Editorial by Dara Latinwo

Economically empowering the continent with the most black lives is a key step to ensuring that they matter – in every sense – around the world. Guest editor Dara Latinwo introduces this issue dedicated to Africa, and argues that sympathy for the oppressed must translate into support for material change if it is to be more than an empty gesture.


The CFA Franc as a vivid symbol of colonial continuities in Francophone Africa
Ndongo Samba Sylla

Monetary policy in Africa has been dominated by a consensus formed in Europe and the United States. In France’s former colonies in West and Central Africa this has helped preserve the substance of empire long after its formal end.


Capital flight from Africa: Resource Plunder and the Poisoned Paradises in Tax Havens
Léonce Ndikumana

Africa’s rich natural resources have drawn in outside powers for thousands of years. European colonialism vastly accelerated the rate of plunder. Léonce Ndikumana is a globally renowned expert in the dynamics of exploitation that continue to sustain injustice, impunity and corruption throughout the global system.


Chinese Engagement in Africa: Beyond the Caricature
W. Gyude Moore

Western commentary on China’s engagement with Africa often treats it as new form of colonialism. In this article W. Gyude Moore looks beyond this simplistic framework toanalyse China’s approach on its own terms, and sets out some of the ways in which African countries can secure greater leverage in their negotiations with all of the great powers.


Africa’s Path towards Resilience and Sovereignty: The Real Wakanda is within Reach
Fadhel Kaboub

Colonialism stripped Africa of agency and confidence as well as material resources. In this article Fadhel Kaboub sets out a path towards independence and prosperity. He calls for a thorough-going rejection of the policy prescriptions offered by the former colonial powers, a renewed faith in the energy and creativity of Africa’s peoples, and a step-by-step programme to build sovereignty through the expansion of domestic production in energy, food and value added goods.


Book Review: Free Lunch Thinking: How Economics Ruins the Economy by Tom Bergin
John Christensen


News in brief

Tax Justice Network, Annual Conference

Co-organised by the Association for Accountancy & Business Affairs, City University of London, the Tax Justice Network and the Tax and Gender Working group of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, this year’s virtual conference is the latest in an annual series dating back to 2003. The events bring together researchers, academics, journalists, civil society organisations, consultants and professionals, along with elected politicians and their researchers, and officials from national governments and international organisations. The purpose is to facilitate research, open-minded debate and discussion, and to generate ideas and proposals to inform and shape political initiatives and mobilisation. More details can be found here.

Nobel Prize Nomination for the Tax Justice Movement

Three Norwegian politicians have nominated the international tax justice movement for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination is shared by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The Tax Justice Network was formally established in 2003, and began to build a global network of experts and civil society organisations. The Global Alliance for Tax Justice was spun out of the Tax Justice Network in 2013 as the umbrella body for mass mobilisation organisations working on tax justice around the world.

Landmark United Nations Study Published

The UN High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (the FACTI panel) was launched in March 2020 to study the impact of tax abuse, money laundering and illicit financial flows on the ability of states to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It reported in February 2020 and calls for powerful, specific policies to be implemented, in respect of both tax transparency and international tax rules. It also envisages sweeping reforms to the global architecture. In each area, a raft of tax justice proposals are adopted.

The Tax Justice Network’s chief executive Alex Cobham comments that ‘it’s not often that you can celebrate an outright, global triumph for the advocacy efforts of a movement.’ This report’s publication is one such rare moment.