The JCAM Justice and Ecology Office takes advocacy against tax evasion to the European Union

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If Africa were to be able to deal a deathly blow to tax evasion and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), it would greatly reduce or overcome the huge national debts it continues to incur. This can be a reasonable deduction from findings made that Africa loses between $ 70 Billion and $ 120 Billion every year through tax avoidance, tax evasion, trade mispricing and misinvoicing.

Africa absolutely needs this money if she is to get rid of poverty that ravages most of nations. The loss of revenue cause much weight exerted on poor taxpayers. The above amount is said to be more than what Africa receives for development and as foreign capital. These survey results were published by the Tax Justice and Poverty, a research and advocacy project which involves three organizations; Jesuitenmission – Germany, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection – Zambia and Jesuit Hakimani Centre – Kenya.

In cognizance of these findings, and in line with Jesuit Ecology Network Africa’s (JENA) mission in Africa, the organization hosted a conference from 12th up to 14th of March 2019 at the Crowne Plaza, Nairobi to dissect the ‘link between Tax Justice and Poverty’. The focus was on domestic resources mobilization and the stemming of illicit financial flows.

On 10th December the same year, JEO (JCAM Ecology Office) attended a conference organized jointly with Jesuit European Social Center (Commission of the Bishop’s Conferences of the EU) which established collaboration between Jesuits in Europe and those in Africa in advocacy on Tax Justice. This happened in Brussels, Belgium where Pascal Andebo, JEO’s Research and Advocacy officer was present.

Further, on 11th and 12th December 2019 JEO Director, Rev. Charles Chilufya and the Jesuitenmission Advocacy Officer Jorg Alt advanced the work of advocacy to the German political administration in order to lobby Germany to pay attention to various issues of concern around tax evasion and development. Charles and Jorg met politicians and technocrats from the ministries of Finance and International development in Berlin and German members of parliament who form the committee on development.

The Catholic News Agency in Germany would, on Wednesday 11, 2019 carry a story that ‘Jesuits call for more efforts against poverty in Africa’, while also conceding that the EU faced similar challenges on tax within itself. However, it is useful to note that JEO has made progress which it will be keen to follow up and gather more support through from Jesuits in Europe.