Jul 142017

You are invited to attend a Media Briefing for the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and a signing ceremony presided by the Honourable Minister, Dr Rob Davies.

The dti and FNB are working together to improve access to finance for manufacturers, particularly the previously disadvantaged and/or predominately black owned businesses.

It is against this background that a “Pledge of Cooperation” will be signed.

Date: Tuesday 25 July 2017
Venue: The Hyatt Regency Hotel, 191 Oxford Rd, Rosebank, Johannesburg
Time: 09h30 for 10h00

RSVPs should be forwarded to Charles Mnisi via telephone on 012 394 1721/072 523 4886 or e-mail: CMnisi@theDTI.gov.za.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Source:: The DTI and FNB to Sign a Pledge of Cooperation on the Black Industrialists Programme

Jul 142017

Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) is a golden opportunity for Nigerian companies to regularise their tax affairs


Nigerian companies and entrepreneurs that don’t have their tax affairs in order should act now to take advantage of the government’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) (https://VAIDS.gov.ng), says Magnus Nmonwu (https://Twitter.com/mnmonwu), Regional Director for Sage West Africa (www.Sage.com). The scheme runs from 1 July 2017 to 31 March 2018.

It gives taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily declare all previously undisclosed assets and income, and thereby regularise their affairs. VAIDS applies to all taxpaying entities (individuals, companies, executors, trusts, partnerships and so on) and encompasses most tax categories, including company income, personal income, capital gains, VAT and stamp duty.

Implemented by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in collaboration with the State tax authorities, the scheme aims to increase Nigeria’s tax base, improve the tax collection to GDP ratio and clamp down non-compliance, says Nmonwu. “This is a perfect opportunity to come clean for people and companies who have under-declared or failed to declare their assets and income,” he adds.

“When the window closes on 31 March, companies and individuals that do not have their tax affairs in order may be subject to stringent penalties, punitive interest and even criminal prosecution. They may be named and shamed in a register of tax evaders, harming their personal and business reputations.”

Nmonwu says that the first step to compliance is getting your business’s books in order, irrespective of whether you’re running a registered company, earning freelance income or working in a partnership. The right accounting and payroll software can make it simpler to report accurately on revenue and expenses and to streamline tax submissions.

“Spreadsheets and other manual methods are no longer sufficient to keep up with the growing complexity of today’s tax environment,” Nmonwu says. “Automated software can streamline capturing of transactions, automate payroll calculations, processes and improve visibility into the business so you can comply more easily.

“It can also help you stay on top of annual changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. What’s more, the ability to generate tax certificates, reports and electronic payslips with the click of a button is a major timesaver.”

Nmonwu concludes: “Nigeria’s federal and state governments are eager to expand their tax bases, and are investing heavily in modernising and streamlining tax administration. Companies can no longer risk non-payment of tax or incorrect remittances of taxes to the relevant government agencies, whether the reason is deliberate evasion or an accidental oversight.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Sage.

For media queries:
Thuli Lamani
Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
Mobile: +27 (0)83 716 2572

Del-Mari Roberts
Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
Mobile: +27 (0)72 5958 053

About Sage:
Sage (www.Sage.com) is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. It‘s why Sage helps drive today’s business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support, and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners, and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere. And as a FTSE 100 business, we are passionate about doing business the right way, supporting our local communities through the Sage Foundation.
Sage – the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, powered by the cloud and supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs and business builders. Because when business builders do well, we all do.
For more information, visit www.Sage.com.

Source:: Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) is a golden opportunity for Nigerian companies to regularise their tax affairs

Jul 142017

ECA-WTO joint publication on role of Aid for Trade in boosting intra-African trade launched in Geneva

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have launched a co-publication on promoting connectivity in Africa, focusing on the role of Aid for Trade (AfT) in boosting intra-African trade as well as the importance of increasing the capacity of developing countries.

The regional report, titled “Promoting connectivity in Africa: The role of Aid for Trade in boosting intra-African trade” was launched at the ongoing Aid for Trade Global Review 2017 whose theme is “Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development”.

The report emphasizes that intra-regional trade that is more diversified and industrial in nature creates opportunities for value addition and the development of regional value chains, leading to the creation of decent jobs and improved livelihoods.

For this reason, intra-African trade has been placed at the centre of continental developmental frameworks, such as Agenda 2063.

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which is currently under negotiation, is expected to be an important milestone in enhancing trade on the continent. For the agreement to deliver on its developmental potential, it will need to address connectivity challenges on the continent in a comprehensive way, the report opines.

The report says Aid for Trade can act as a powerful tool to boost intra-African trade and subsequently, meet the CFTA objectives.

In 2015, Aid for Trade disbursements to African countries reached a record high US$14.1 billion, representing some 34 per cent of global disbursements. Within Africa, the largest share of Aid for Trade goes to East Africa, in particular Kenya and Tanzania.

Capacity Development Division (CDD) Director, Stephen Karingi, who’s attending the meeting, said intra-African trade is a key instrument for achieving the much-needed structural transformation of the continent.

A panel discussion on the publication and its findings featuring Mr. Karingi, Jean Lucien Bussa Tongba, Minister of External Trade of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pierre Guislain, Vice-President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission, Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the African Export Import Bank, Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs Director, Vodafone, and Christopher Thornley, Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, was also convened at the launch.

Mr. Karingi acknowledged that the current flows of Aid for Trade and priorities indicated in the responses from Africa suggest that there is good alignment of Aid for Trade to Africa’s trade agenda as presented in the Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT).

“To ensure that this alignment is maintained and improved upon by increasing focus on intra-African trade, the various continental programmes and frameworks, such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa(PIDA) should be used,” said Mr. Karingi, adding more needs to be done to support the development of productive capacity in industry in Africa.

While AfDB and Afrexim Bank have been driving regional approaches in projects for connectivity in Africa, a more regional focus could be beneficial in the delivery of AfT, the panelists agreed.

AfT, said Mr. Karingi, should also support efforts to meet social goals such as gender equality and food security through trade.

Panelists reaffirmed the importance of the CFTA in bringing together the African market, improving harmonization in trade policy and bringing down tariffs and NTBs.

While agreeing challenges in digital connectivity continued to exist in Africa, the panelists highlighted advances made so far and the key role smart phones have made in bringing internet access to Africans, adding the ongoing digital revolution should also be seen as a movement towards inclusiveness.

They highlighted the important role of the private sector in this field, the huge African diaspora and the role of governments in providing conducive environments.

Panelists highlighted that after all has been said and done, development of any country will need to come from the country itself.

African development will rely on Africans, they agreed, adding actions to take towards that include tackling corruption and illicit financial flows.

They emphasized that increasing women’s participation in political and economic life will no doubt contribute to economic growth and development on the continent. In particular, attention should be paid to bringing the large numbers of women currently in the informal economy on the continent into formal economy.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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Source:: ECA-WTO joint publication on role of Aid for Trade in boosting intra-African trade launched in Geneva

Jul 142017

Access to basic and safely managed water services in Tanzania has improved, according to a new report released on Thursday this week by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

According to the report, in Tanzania, 1 in 2 people, or 27 Million Tanzanians have access to basic water services – that are within a 30-minute round trip collection time including queuing.

However, progress on sanitation and hygiene has been slow as 63% of Tanzanians still have no access to improved sanitation.

Worldwide some 3 in 10 people or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home and 6 in 10, or 4.4 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.

The Joint Monitoring Programme report, Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and Sustainable Development Goal Baselines, presents the first global assessment of “safely managed” drinking water and sanitation services.

Globally, the report shows that billions of people have gained access to basic drinking water and sanitation services since 2000, but these services do not necessarily provide safe water and sanitation. Many homes, healthcare facilities and schools still lack soap and water for handwashing. This puts the health of all people – especially young children – at risk for diseases, such as diarrhea.

As a result, every year, globally 361 000 children under 5 years die due to diarrhea. Poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services continues to impact child survival and health. In Tanzania 8% of deaths of children under 5 is caused by preventable diarrhea.

“Not only are poor hygiene, open defecation, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation systems leading causes of child illness and death, they contribute to undernutrition and stunting, and act as barriers to education for girls and to economic opportunity for the poor” said Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative in Tanzania. “This new data is a reality check and shows stark inequities, including in Tanzania, in terms of who benefit from safe water and sanitation services. It is a call to spark a truly national movement for water, sanitation and hygiene so that everyone is reached especially the under-served areas, poorest communities and the most vulnerable children, including children with disabilities,” she added.

The report further reveals that inequalities still exist between rural and urban communities. In Tanzania for example only 37% of rural dwellers have access to improved basic water services (within 30 minutes round trip walk) as compared to 80% of urban dwellers.

Speaking on the importance of water and sanitation for good health, Dr. Matthieu Kamwa, WHO Representative in Tanzania said, “Availability of safe water supply and adequate sanitation contributes immensely to improved quality of life and productivity for sustainable development. The SDG 6 calls for ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. It’s a noble plea to ascertain that no one is left behind as an important principal for achieving each of the SDGs”.

There has never been a more urgent time to advocate for the right to water, sanitation and hygiene for all citizens and especially for our children. Data driven investments, partnerships, sound interventions and stronger accountability for results is needed so that this basic right becomes a reality for all.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Source:: 27 Million Tanzanians now have access to improved water services