The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) Wednesday launched operations in Ethiopia, only a week after doing so in Nigeria.
Established in 2010 mainly through funding from different agencies, including theDepartment for International Development (DFID), ICTD has been active in different countries across Africa, including Uganda.
The center is known for conducting tax and tax-related research activities.
Atthe official launching of the center under the Ethiopian Tax Research Network (ETRN), Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation Abraham Tekeste (PhD) addressed the gathering through a representative.
“I strongly believe that the establishment of the network would significantly contribute to the enhancement of tax revenue by providing research outputs,” said Abraham in a press statement.
Currently, Ethiopia’s tax to GDP ratio stands at 12.7 percent, below the 15 percent threshold considered necessary to fund adequate public services.
Furthermore, more research on tax compliance could support potential reform in this area, he said.
This initiative is a part of the country’s commitment to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which was endorsed following the third international Financing for Development Conference.
One of the major are as discussed at the conference was achieving sustainable development goals through mobilizing domestic public resources.
Countries were also expressing their commitment to enhance revenue administration through modernized, progressive tax systems and efficient tax collection and improved tax policy.
With this in mind, ICTD launched operations here with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The ETRN is dedicated to enhancing the generation and exchange of tax knowledge in Ethiopia. It is concerned with all topics related to taxation, ranging from tax policy to tax administration, and from academic papers to practical case studies,” according to a press statement by ICTD.
ETRN will support the production of policy-relevant research. In this respect, the network will provide funding and capacity building for Ethiopian researchers to conduct research on tax.
A considerable tax expertise already exists in Ethiopia, and the ETRN should help bring people together and develop it further for the benefit of the country, said ICTD Research Director Giulia Mascagni (PhD).