Together, The B Team and Oxfam have invited foreign and domestic private sector actors, including investors and company representatives, to participate with civil society leaders in a series of roundtables and conferences on responsible corporate tax practice in developing countries. These dialogues will focus the African continent—specifically starting with Kenya and eventually on Ghana as well.
The first of these conversations, Tax Dialogue: Kenya Capacity Building for Civil Society Organizations, took place in Nairobi from February 5 -7. The discussion aimed to generate understanding around the challenges and opportunities on tax and corporate responsibility (CSR) for the private sector in Kenya. Through dialogue and exchange of perspectives, the roundtable built a mutual understanding of the link between CSR and tax. The conversation also helped create an environment for responsible corporate tax practice with the aim of including tax in the corporate risk management and CSR agenda.
Going forward, we hope these conversations will help empower local civil society organisations to actively engage in advocacy dialogue with private sector actors and government officials to ensure responsible corporate tax practices and fair taxation. Through these capacity building measures, civil society organisations can also help enhance the social contract between private sector tax payers, governments and the whole of society. For Africa, this is key to identifying and understanding business’ role in establishing a fair tax system for a sustainable future.
While these dialogues have just gotten started, we hope to host several sessions throughout the year with the next scheduled to take place in Nairobi on April 23-24. Participants in each conversation include company representatives and investors who have either already taken initial steps to demonstrate an interest in or commitment to responsible tax practice and are keen to learn more. In addition, we expect constructive participation from relevant local actors such as academics and experts and international actors including UN Global Compact and OECD.
These discussions will build upon momentum from our Responsible Tax Principles and will go a long way in strengthening the coalition of partners who are committed to responsible tax on the African continent.