Oxfam Report: Multinational Companies Threaten African Economic Outlook

Oxfam’s ‘Africa: Rising for the few’ report suggests that international companies could be damaging Africa’s economic rise to deliver sustainable development

A new Oxfam report claims that Africa was “cheated out of US$11 billion in 2010”, this is equivalent to more than six times the amount needed to deliver universal primary healthcare in the Ebola affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. 

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s Executive Director said:  “Africa is haemorrhaging billions of dollars because multinational companies are cheating African governments out of vital revenues by not paying their fair share in taxes. If this tax revenue were invested in education and healthcare, societies and economies would further flourish across the continent.”

Oxfam’s findings in the ‘Africa: Rising for the few,’ report coincides with the 25th World Economic Forum Africa in South Africa. The main theme of the meeting will be how to secure Africa’s economic rise and deliver sustainable development. Reforming global tax rules – and which is needed to tackle extreme poverty and inequality – is critical if the continent is to continue its economic rise.

Byanyima added: “African leaders must not sit by while international tax reforms are agreed which give multinational companies free reign to sidestep their tax obligations in Africa. Political and business leaders must put their weight behind the ever louder calls for the reform of global tax rules. African nations must also introduce a more progressive and democratic approach to taxation – including calling a halt to tax exemptions for foreign companies.”