The new politics of development in Africa: extractive industries, global wealth chains and taxation

Morten Boas (NUPI)
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
Memorial Room (Queens College)
Start time:
14 September, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel examines the regulation of cross-border flows of natural resources and capital to and from African. How this relates to challenges of establishing appropriate taxation regimes, and particularly interactions between the national level and international commercial practices and standards

Long abstract:

Governments across Africa face the challenge of developing and/or enforcing regulatory systems sufficiently robust to ensure both that the state receives a fair share of petroleum and mineral revenues and that industry actors operate in a commercially, environmentally and socially sustainable manner. From petroleum exploration off the coast of Tanzania to mineral extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, natural resource wealth is an important source of fiscal revenue for African governments. This is the new politics of development and this panel will examine the link[ages] between tax havens, global wealth chains and the extraction of natural resources in Africa and other developing countries. Developing countries seeking to regulate extractive industries face the combined challenges of constraints on administrative capacity and the prospect of rent-seeking behavior among political elites. Nonetheless, the scholarly literature contains little comparative research on the interactions between national and international economic actors that reinforce these challenges. The panel reaches out to paper that examines the formal and informal regulation of cross-border flows of natural resource wealth, the specific flows of capital to and from the African continent: mineral and petroleum wealth, foreign direct investment, foreign portfolio (financial) investment, and illicit financial flows, and how this relates to issues and challenges of establishing appropriate taxation regimes. In this regard, we will be particularly interested in papers that focus on the mechanisms at the national levels and their interactions with international commercial practices and standards, including the role played by tax havens and global wealth chains