Tax Challenges of Digitalization in Africa

By Nara Monkam, Gamal Ibrahim, William Davis, and Christian von Haldenwang


The G20/OECD project on tackling base erosion and profit shifting provided broad recommendations but did not address in detail the tax challenges of the digitalized economy, deciding to return to the issue at a later date (Action 11) (OECD, 2017). Discussions are currently ongoing as to what form international co-operation on the tax challenges of the digitalized economy should take. However, currently, Africa faces challenges in effectively participating in international discussions in this area. As such, this policy brief discusses the role of African countries and the G20 in ensuring that international approaches to taxing the digitalized economy are undertaken in consultation with Africa and reflect Africa’s interests. In addressing the tax challenges of digitalization in Africa two important principles of international tax cooperation emphasized by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA, arts. 28, 29) must be respected: to be universal by fully taking “into account the different needs and capacities of all countries” and be inclusive (UN FfD, 2015).