The Department of Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the Directorate of Customs Union and Taxation organized the 1st meeting of Directors Tax Generals of the region, this Friday, November 25, 2022, in Abidjan, in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
The Abidjan meeting enabled the 1st officials of the Tax Services of the ECOWAS Member States to examine several texts with a view to harmonizing the tax systems of the West African region, including the Draft Directive establishing regional guidelines on the code of ethics for tax administrations of ECOWAS Member States and the Draft Directive amending Directive C/DIR.2/06/09 on the harmonization of the legislation of ECOWAS Member States relating to excise duties.
The examination of three other texts were also on the agenda of the Directors General, including (i) the Draft Directive aimed at harmonizing the methodology for assessing tax expenditures in ECOWAS Member States, (ii) the Draft directive on the creation of an institutional mechanism for monitoring and evaluating tax transition in West Africa and finally (iii) the draft directive amending directive C/DIR1/05/09 of 27 May 2009 concerning the harmonization of the laws of ECOWAS Member States on value added tax, as amended by Directive C/DIR.2/12/17 of 14 December 2017.
During the opening ceremony, the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission, Mrs. Massandjé Touré-Litsé, welcomed the support of technical and financial partners and the commitment of Member States for the success of the ECOWAS tax transition support programme. “With the support of our partners, the ECOWAS Commission will continue its capacity building activities for tax and customs administrations in 2023, parliamentarians, civil society organizations and academics,” said Ms. Touré-Litsé.
She concluded her remarks with the hope that the legal instruments submitted to the meeting will enable Member States to be more effective and efficient in achieving the objectives of building the ECOWAS common market, while consolidating the missions of mobilizing public resources for ever more efficient public services for the benefit of the populations.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Babakari Cissé, the Deputy Director General of Taxes of Côte d’Ivoire, on behalf of the Ivorian authorities, thanked the Directors General of the region for their strong participation in this 1st meeting initiated by ECOWAS. He invited them to share experiences in order to achieve the adoption of beneficial and effective measures for all Member States for the well-being of the populations and the development of the Community.
As a reminder, ECOWAS, in collaboration with the Member States, has put in place the tax transition program which responds to the need to harmonize tax legislation on excise duties and value added tax as well as on establishment of guidelines for the code of conduct for tax administrations of ECOWAS Member States.
The texts and recommendations resulting from this meeting will be transmitted to the meeting of Ministers of Finance on November 26, 2022 in Abidjan, which will examine the conclusions and draft texts and recommend their adoption by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.