Media told to be proactive in telling tax story

Written by  Mirriam Kaliza

Journalists across the continent have been challenged to change the narrative in telling a tax story that will help the public understand their tax obligation.


Over 60 media practioners and tax communicators have converged in Kigali, Rwanda to discuss their role in addressing emerging tax issues that affect the continent’s development.

The three day media engagement and training has been organised by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). Director of Tax Programmes at ATAF Mary Baine said the media have got a critical role to play in helping countries tackle their tax challenges.

“The media have the power to change public perception and increasing voluntary compliance and reduce evasion,” said Baine.

And on behalf of the Rwanda Revenue Authority, Commissioner of the domestic taxes Aimable Kayigi Hariyambere said was honoured to be part of the change. Adding that it is a process for the masses to finally realise their roles, but it is worth it.

“History has taught us what the media are capable of doing. We are experiencing the contribution of media in the rebuilding of this nation that has marvelled nations around the globe,” explained Hariyambere.

Member of Parliament for Botswana Phenyo Butale said the media need to know their role in ensuring that people understand why they are paying taxes. He also cautioned the Journalists to capture the voices of people who get affected as a result of non-compliant tax payers.

“It is important also for the tax payers and taxation entities to have a workable relationship and it is the media’s role to build this friendship for a more productive taxation system,“ said the Botswana’s law maker.

ATAF’s series of Media engagement workshops are a yearly gatherings which seek to promote and enhance media coverage of tax matters in Africa by strengthening the capacities of African Journalists promoting collaboration and facilitating exchange of knowledge on tax related matters.

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