A woman after fruitless day of fishing in Katakwi Swamp recently. Rural women like this one are not aware of public procurements.

By Vanguard reporter.

KAMPALA – To reduce inequality and poverty, civil society have engaged key stake holders in virtual capacity building sessions on emerging issues in domestic revenue mobilization in the East Africa Community. The trainings include media, academia and civil society working on taxation, debt, budget and other governance issues. The team is expected to generate proposals that can be adopted by different countries in the EAC region.

The five day meeting organized by Seatini Uganda, Tax Justice Network, Tax Justice Uganda, Diakonia and EATGN recognizes goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals to “reduce inequality within and among countries” and Agenda 2063 attest to this paradigm.

“Domestic revenue mobilization especially through tax is one of the ways to reduce this inequality. Besides, the reducing Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) has raised concerns of seeking more sustainable alternatives of raising the much-needed revenue for providing social services, the most viable being through domestic resource mobilization (DRM),” reads a press statement.

“There are new emerging issues including the taxation of the digital economy and Public Private Partnerships. The digital economy, including electronic commerce (e-commerce), is growing quickly in the East African Community (EAC) region, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to expand their market access and join value chains. Jobs are being created and new business models are emerging. At the same time, the evolving landscape is creating new risks and challenges,” it further reads.

A Karamojong woman with a baby on her back loughs land for planting sorghum at Lobeel Hill April 17, 2013. PHOTO: STEPHEN WANDERA

The gains from e-commerce are not automatic, and the increased use of digital technologies can result in new divides and wider income inequalities say Ms. Jane Nalunga, the Executive Director, Seatini Uganda.

“On the other hand, the current political and policy narrative is promoting PPPs as the “Next Big Thing” in Africa and has led to increased acceptance of PPPs model. Thus, countries have now therefore witnessed an aggressive entry of the private sector into the provision of traditional public services as PPPs are now seen as a relevant instrument for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such instruments have been promoted over the years by institutions like the World Bank Group to bridge the gap in development financing.”

She however says, there is still limited understanding among stakeholders of the growing digital economy, Public Private Partnerships and their impact on domestic revenue mobilization. This hinders their effective participation to influence DRM processes on the digital economy and PPPs at national and EAC level. It is upon this background that Seatini Uganda, East African Tax and Governance Network, Tax Justice Network Africa and Diakonia are conducting a series of capacity building sessions on DRM specifically taxation of the Digital Economy & Public Private Partnerships. The sessions run from 9th-13th September 2021 aimed to understand the digital economy and its implication on DRM, the Public Private Partnerships and its linkage with Domestic Resource Mobilisation and to provide a platform for stakeholders to share their position on the new emerging issues in DRM.”

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