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Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeNewsTax Abuse Costing Africa USD29 Billion in Education Funding: Report

Tax Abuse Costing Africa USD29 Billion in Education Funding: Report

More than 18 million girls are out of primary school in Africa, this according to a report by the Tax and Education (TaxEd) Alliance and its allies.

According to the report, inadequate investment in education due to aggressive tax avoidance is the root cause and is depriving the continent of a staggering USD29 billion annually in education finance.

According to the report, sealing tax loopholes and implementing fair taxation practices could generate an additional USD146 billion annually in Africa, with just 20% of this amount enough to cover costs for 25 million primary school children.

Joy Mabenge, Country Director of ActionAid Zimbabwe, expressed dismay over the situation “It is appalling that there are over 18 million girls missing school in Africa due to inadequate investment in the education sector when appropriate action by our governments to address gaps in taxation, debt, and austerity offers an opportunity to address this challenge.”

The report also sheds light on the alarming trend of African countries allocating substantial portions of their national budgets to debt repayment.

With 28 out of 52 African Union countries spending over 12% of their budgets on debt servicing, and 15 of them already allocating more funds to debt than education, the situation is dire.

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Furthermore, under pressure from the debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund has advised 96% of these countries to cut or freeze spending on public sector workers, including teachers, which could further exacerbate the education funding crisis.

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Ashina Mtsumi, Coordinator of the Tax and Education Alliance, underscored the disproportionate impact of austerity and debt on women and girls in Africa.

“Women and girls bear the brunt of austerity and debt in Africa. Evidence suggests that austerity measures often have a disproportionately negative impact on girls’ access to education, hindering their individual development and limiting their future opportunities,” said Mtsumi

The urgent need for action was echoed by Solange Akpo, Regional Coordinator of the Africa Network Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA), who called for decisive measures to transform education financing in Africa.

“Decisive action is required on tax, debt, and austerity to transform education financing across Africa and to get the ball rolling towards inclusive and gender transformative education,” Akpo said

Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) Dennis Sinyolo, Africa Director at Education International, urged African governments to address the teacher shortage promptly and ensure that every African child has access to qualified and supported educators.

 “African governments should take immediate policy, legislative, and financing measures to end the teacher shortage. We call on AU member states to ensure that every African child is taught by a qualified, supported, and motivated teacher with decent salaries and working conditions.” said Sinyolo

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