The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung AU Cooperation Office in collaboration with PSI, TJN-A and AIDC has organized a trade unions regional tax workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 6th & 7th of July 2023 under the auspices of "building capacities and strategizing for a renewed drive for leadership of global tax governance, and the demand for investment in public services". The workshop convened mainly trade unions and participants from CSOs in Africa to evaluate the regional tax campaign, develop and review a new set of objectives, provide capacity training for the campaign team and union leaders, and develop the linkages with current economic issues such as debt and privatization.
During the workshop, trade unions had the opportunity to review success stories and challenges of the tax justice campaign in Africa and specifically discussed experiences from Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana. The workshop has noted that the campaign over the period has been successful in mobilizing trade unions, and networking with civil society organizations to push for tax policy reforms that will ensure revenue is raised. During the deliberation, TUs have also raised and discussed the recent global phenomenons and trends such as the covid-19 pandemic, austerity measures, deregulation and states attempts to weaken collective bargaining and pointed out how to navigate and find a harmonized campaign strategy in the advent of these new factors. To the end, several strategies and experiences were shared and discussed among the TUs, of which: south-south trade unions solidarity, working with the parliamentarians as it has been the case in Tanzania, involving the academia and make use of the knowledge and strong engagement with relevant stakeholders are among the few strategies drawn from the workshop.
Apart from the discussion at the country level, the participants had also reflected on the ongoing global tax discussion and governance mechanism and highlighted where Africa should stand on the debate. While the OECD inclusive framework is referenced and discussed, the workshop noted that Africans and TUs should support the call of the UN tax convention and rally behind the political force. In the regard, TUs have agreed to be more pro-active and stay engaged with the state and non-state actors to push for the global tax reform led by the United Nations. In conclusion, the participants have reiterated that having such kind of regional workshop is paramount in galvanizing trade unions along a common agenda and initiatives and a means to share experience and lessons throughout the continent.
For more information: please contact: Mr. Amanuel D. Haile, Program Manager, FES AU Cooperation Office at firstname.lastname@example.org