ZacTax Campaign Relaunched in Africa

by CWM Communications Team

The ecumenical Zacchaeus Tax (ZacTax) Campaign was relaunched on 20 May 2023, offering faith-rooted African perspectives on just taxation and reparations and sharing concrete proposals to advance corporate and wealth taxation as well as social and ecological reparations.

“Tax justice is a matter of faith. By faith, (all) are entitled to abundant life. Ordinary people have a right to know and to participate in decision-making tables that affect our own God-given dignity, said Suzanne Matale, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Oikotree, and the keynote speaker at the event held at the Mannah Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year by mining companies’ avoidance and evasion in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Mandla Mbongeni Hadebe, of the Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA who expressed hope that through the ZacTax campaign, they as churches will be savvy about the true costs and benefits of mining contracts, and the need for sustainable economic policies.

Contributing to the discussion on tax justice and reparations in Africa, Rev. Dr Sindiso Jele, CWM Mission Secretary for Social Justice emphasized the importance of holding perpetrators accountable and naming them for their actions. He highlighted the need to expose and challenge the systems and individuals responsible for unjust taxation practices. By doing so, he believed that progress could be made towards achieving tax justice and addressing the historical injustices that have contributed to inequality.

In the past three decades, African nations lost between US$597-1.4 trillion in illicit financial flows – nearly equivalent to the entire continent’s current GDP. “Just imagine if the government can counter these illicit financial flows and channel them into other areas,” said M. Ganief Hendricks, a member of the South African Parliament.

Riska Leandre Koopman of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice noted that tax policies are not gender-just, with most African women working in the informal economy, and paying a lot in consumption taxes.

“Our resources need to start working for us. We need to ensure that tax is addressing inequality issues, including gender, and address the mismatch of power between developing and developed countries.” said Francis Kairu of the Tax Justice Network – Africa.

The Relaunch was closed in prayer by Rev. Daimon Mkandawire, the CWM Mission Secretary for Ecology and Economy underscoring the significance of faith and spirituality in the pursuit of justice and fairness. The prayer sought guidance, strength, and unity among the attendees as they continued their advocacy for tax justice and reparations in Africa.

The ZacTax Campaign is a part of the New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA) advocacy platform sponsored by the Council for World Mission (CWM), World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), and World Methodist Council (WMC). The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) co-organised the relaunch event and now promotes the ZacTax the campaign in the African region.


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