Africa has been called upon to harness huge potential in the taxation of the global digital economy to avert the loss of an estimated annual $50 billion through illicit financial outflow.

The call was made during the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) symposium in Victoria Falls.

The high level ATAF symposium which has attracted over 70 tax administrators, private sector firms, tax researchers and ministers of finance from 24 African countries seeks to ensure a coordinated regional response to the tax challenges emerging from digitalisation of economies among other issues.

ATAF Executive Secretary Mr Logan Wort said the continent cannot afford to lag behind highlighting the need to address the current disconnect between policy decisions and tax administration.

“It was agreed that Africa’s position should be reinforced to ensure that we benefit from the global tax agenda,” he said.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Commissioner General Ms Faith Mazani stressed the need for an African solution to the challenges being encountered in harnessing the potential of global digital economy and securing of taxing rights.

“We need to move with speed and we cannot afford to lag behind in this global agenda,” said Ms Mazani

ATAF council chairman Mr Tunde Fowler highlighted the need for Africa to fully participate in the global debate and formulation of guiding principles.

“We must be able to apply our minds to the key decisions that Africa has to make and how best to remain engaged in the ongoing global debate,” he said.

The high profile forum running under the theme: “Ensuring Africa’s Place in the Taxation of the Digital Economy,” comes at a time the continent is seeking to have a common position in the global tax agenda debate.