ActionAid is calling on all political parties to come clean on how they plan to fund their manifestos, should they win the elections being held on 11 August. Anyone can promise the earth but unless the parties can show us where the money will come from, the promises risk being nothing but empty words. And they may even make things worse. So, in the interests of transparency and accountability, ActionAid is saying that it is high time we talk about the money!
Following the release of a statement by ActionAid Zambia on Friday 24 June 2016, there have been several misleading press reports suggesting wrongly that ActionAid condones the closure of The Post Newspaper until tax bills are paid. To set the record straight, Action Aid reiterates its view that tax revenues are critical for the country’s development but that the collection of taxes must be free from political interference. In order to tackle poverty and secure everyone’s rights, Zambia needs not only tax revenue, but also an independent revenue authority and a free press.
ActionAid Zambia (AAZ) is part of ActionAid International which is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all. It works in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to eliminate poverty and the inequalities and injustices that cause it. The organisation works at both national and local level directly and through partners. In Zambia the organisation works in four thematic areas; Women’s rights, Education and Youth, Agriculture and Natural Resource Management and Governance.
AAZ is among organisations selected to participate in the Queen’s Young Leadership Programme under an initiative called the Zambia Firestarter Initiative. The project, ‘This is Our Moment-Youth Changing Zambia’, aims to support, connect and develop the capacity of youth organisations in Zambia through a reactive and open small grants scheme under the AAZ thematic area of Education and Youth. The project will contribute to AAZ’s Country Strategy Plan‘s Key Change Promise/ Expected Result which relates to youth which is, “A vibrant movement of 25 000 youths engages in critical dialogue, pioneers innovation and is providing effective leadership in shaping the development agenda and promoting good governance increasing livelihood and employment”.
The adoption of decentralisation reform in Zambia provides women (and men) with new opportunities for political participation. However, in the absence of legislation to support electoral gender quotas as a fast track to gender-balanced decision making structures, it will likely be a long and incremental process of negotiation to transform the process into ‘women friendly.’
On 9th October, 2015 Honourable Alexander Chikwanda presented to Parliament a K53.14 billion budget for the year 2016. The budget theme, which is “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard Our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All”, is well matched to the current economic climate rising inequality amidst the positive economic growth Zambia has been recording.
Although ActionAid Zambia notes that there is general good will and fair understanding among government technocrats regarding the development priorities of the nation as spelt out in the 2016 National Budget, there are some areas that need improvement if the budget is to be effective in securing a prosperous future for all.
We, members of Civil Society Organizations in Zambia working on issues of extractive industries observed that on 8th – 9th December 2015 in Kiev, the Global Transparency Initiative which promotes good governance of natural resources – theExtractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)– agreed to make beneficial ownership transparency an obligation on all 49 member countries. The EITI calls on mining companies to publish what they pay to government and governments to publish what they receive from government.
It is commendable that President Edgar Lungu decided to finally come forward and address the nation given the prevailing social and economic challenges the country is facing. As ActionAid Zambia we welcome that government has taken up many of the initiatives civil society has been asking for including ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of tax and prudence in government spending.
We are looking for 3 motivated and experienced speakers to join a two week tour through Europe sharing stories and expertise across a wide variety of public events, media engagements, lobbying meetings and trainings. You will have the opportunity to meet activists, campaigners and lobbyists from across Europe sharing your learning and use your experience to be part of the global movement for Tax Justice!
ActionAid Zambia is deeply saddened by the various challenges experienced by pupils and teachers in the on-going Grade 9 examinations particularly for practical subjects such as ICT and science subjects that require equipment.
Zambia currently faces numerous developmental challenges that require significant financial resources to be addressed, despite the recently recorded average growth rate of about 6% per annum. As the Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda will today present the 2016 budget, ActionAid Zambia hopes government puts in place concrete mechanisms to address growing inequality and to respond to international commitments on the percentage allocated to major social services including education, agriculture and health.
Zambia is facing a growing economic and governance crisis. The economy is suffering from a rising trade deficit coupled with increased debt and a lack of transparency in management of debt. The current ongoing power shortages and potentially looming fuel shortages will only serve to deepen the problem.
The world’s countries met in Addis Ababa this week to determine how to fund the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This evening, the member states officially adopted the outcome document, referred to as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
The announcement that government has increased corporate tax from 0% to 30% is nothing new and is misleading. ActionAid Zambia is concerned with the failure by government to set up and stick to appropriate tax policy particularly for the mining sector.
We, members of Civil Society Organisations from Zambia gathered at the Alternative Mining Indaba observe with great concern the arm-twisting tactics by mining companies in Zambia aimed at pushing government to retract the recently introduced mineral royalties. We recognise the challenge that the Zambian government and other African countries have continued to face in the bid to collect revenue and maximise the benefits of mining due to aggressive tax planning by multinational companies coupled with a lack of transparency and accountability in the sector which has necessitated the change. The misreporting by mining companies on basic data such as the final destination for Zambian minerals makes it difficult for the country to realise benefits from its natural resources.
ActionAid Zambia welcomes President Edgar Lungu’s directive to ZRA to engage in dialogue with the mining companies over the VAT refunds and the new mining tax regime but notes that the dialogue on the tax measures needs to be led by the Ministry of Finance as the policy making organ in consultation with the Ministry of Mines and Zambia Revenue Authority.