On May 18-19, 2021, The Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) and the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) jointly held a two-day virtual workshop on "Medium-Term Revenue Strategies (MTRSs) to Support Recovery and Development" for countries in Africa. The workshop's main objective was to increase countries’ understanding of the role that MTRSs can play in reforming their tax systems to meet revenue and other policy goals. Other expected outcomes of the workshop included 1) enhancing the exchange of information and experience between African countries on adopting, formulating and implementing the MTRS and how it compares with other approaches to tax reform, and 2) fostering an understanding between capacity development partners (bilateral donors, regional tax organizations and PCT Partners) on their role and how to coordinate their activities in MTRS countries.
The workshop program was designed to benefit all countries, including those who have already started the MTRS process or who are interested in learning more about it. It was framed around the four interdependent components of MTRS. The first day of the workshop focused on the overall MTRS approach and goal setting, particularly in the context of the economic crisis posed by COVID-19 and the spending needs to meet the SDGs (component one). The second day discussed the other three components of MTRS: envisioning of comprehensive tax reform, ensuring sustained political support, and delivery of coordinated support for capacity building. The workshop program featured high-level country officials (Ministers and/or Heads of Revenue Administrations) as primary panelists, MTRS country-implementing leaders as practitioner speakers and PCT Partners and ATAF representatives as moderators and expert lecturers.
The two-day workshop was attended by more than 150 participants, hailing from over 20 countries. Participants included high-level officials of African Ministries of Finance (Ministers, Vice Ministers of Finance, Permanent Secretaries/Directors General) and Tax and Customs Administrations (Commissioner General/Deputy Commissioner General), and other senior officials involved in MTRS and tax reform design and implementation. Senior representatives of the PCT Partners (IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank), ATAF leaders, development partners and other stakeholders also joined the workshop.
During the workshop, participants learned how the MTRS can help them reshape their tax systems and exchanged insights with other country participants on design and implementation questions. The workshop also served as a platform for capacity development providers to discuss and clarify their forms of support for and coordination in countries implementing MTRS. Participants from all around the continent were able to follow and contribute to panel discussions through simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Portuguese.