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KRA, OECD Executives Make Headway On Digital Economy Taxation Agreement

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have this week made significant progress on their joint efforts to address Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy.

Senior technical officials led by KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu and the Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD, Mr Pascal Saint-Amans, speaking at the close of a three-day engagement workshop in Naivasha, confirmed that the two organisations had agreed to step up their collaboration efforts.

The stepping up of the collaboration efforts will prioritise technical engagements on OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework (IF) on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting agreement formed to reform international tax rules, among other areas of mutual interest.

With the IF Two-Pillar Solution, all types of economies – developing, emerging or with a higher GDP – will benefit from extra tax revenues. Under Pillar One, taxing rights on more than US$ 125 billion of profit are expected to be reallocated to market jurisdictions each year. With respect to Pillar Two, the global minimum tax of 15% is estimated to generate around US$ 150 billion in additional global tax revenues annually. These extra revenues will be particularly welcome, as governments strive to fund their COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Kenya, a member of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting and has been actively participating and engaging with the OECD on the challenges of taxation of the digital economy.

In recent times, the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration has stepped up engagements seeking to have Kenya sign-in on the IF agreement designed to ensure that Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are subjected to a minimum 15% tax rate from 2023. The IF agreement announced mid last year has won the support of 137 global jurisdictions, with the OECD targeting to bring to the fold all 141 OECD and G20 countries. Kenya is among the four countries that are yet to sign the agreement formally.

The Naivasha meeting staged this week, Mburu and Saint-Amans said was a critical step towards anticipating the possible benefits and concerns of the two-pillar solution. The meeting also provided an opportunity to share the Kenyan Digital Service Tax (DST) rollout experience with Kenya, welcoming the technical discussions on all aspects of the deal as Kenya continues to consider its position.

“KRA and OECD commit to continue deepening their engagements for mutual benefit. The parties will continue partnering to implement various initiatives to improve international tax standards and enhance tax transparency globally,” Mburu and Saint-Amans jointly confirmed.

The KRA/OECD Naivasha workshop featured technical teams from the National Treasury, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KRA to explore collaboration frameworks on the Two Pillar Approach Inclusive Framework (IF) agreement.

At the Naivasha workshop, the OECD expressed its commitment to continue lending its support to the African Tax and Crime Academy by exploring opportunities for enhanced numbers of cohort training due to the high training demand.

The OECD delegation also lauded Kenya’s participation in the OECD Forum of Tax Administration as an essential source of experience sharing that will be utilised in the ongoing digitalisation and data governance process at KRA.

The Implementation of the OECD Common Reporting Standards (CRS), delegates heard, is already advanced. As part of the CRS commitments, Kenya has assured the OECD team of its national support as both parties (OECD and KRA) agreed to continue pursuing multi-lateral and bilateral approaches towards adopting the two-pillar approach.

The initiative advanced and promoted by the OECD seeks to harmonise the international digital taxation regime. The OECD Inclusive Framework was espoused to give an equal footing to all members.

“We are pleased to have hosted the OECD delegation as part of ongoing efforts to build consensus and address concerns that we have previously raised on the IF agreements signed by other jurisdictions last year,” Mburu said. He added that “Kenya favours a very diplomatic approach to the signing of the IF agreement, as Kenya is already a trailblazer on the digital tax front.”

Following years of intensive negotiations to bring the international tax system into the 21st century, 137 jurisdictions (out of the 141 members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS) joined the Statement on the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalization of the economy. It updates and finalises an earlier political agreement by members of the Inclusive Framework to reform international tax rules fundamentally.

With Estonia, Hungary, and Ireland having recently joined the IF agreement, four countries, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are yet to join the deal as they continue to seek a consensus.

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Energy

Sahara Foundation Promotes Clean Energy With Sahara Impact Fund

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa.

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Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched the 2nd Cohort of the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) and the Governance Unusual Program to support social innovators  creating solutions that increase access to clean energy and promote sustainable environments.

 The project reinforces Sahara Group’s commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly by connecting social innovators with opportunities that will enhance their contribution to eradicating energy poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability. The SIF is a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation.

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa. In addition, the Fellows will have mentoring sessions with business leaders at Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.

The inaugural cohort of the SIF produced Fellows from Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi who are spearheading transformative solutions through their businesses. According to Damilola Asaleye, Co- founder- Ashdam Solar “The learnings from the Sahara Impact Fund fellowship have become a daily guide for my organization to achieve our strategic plans of providing access to clean and affordable energy for all in Nigeria.”

“In addition to the seed capital, which was a great boost to my business, I have also built professional networks with like-minded passionate entrepreneurs from all over Africa,” said Ghislain Irakoze , Founder, Wastezon, Rwanda.

Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Sahara Foundation, said the Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual program will reinforce ongoing conversations around increasing entrepreneurial capacity and inspiring a paradigm shift in governance through individual responsibility. “We are delighted to lead and join the quest of ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to energy access and shore up expertise and capacity towards providing global solutions for environmental sustainability. We urge social innovators across Africa to apply to be part of this movement today,” she said.

Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from 9th May 2022 to 30th May 2022. “Full details of the application process are available across our social media platforms @iamsaharafdn and the Ujana Hub at www.ujanahub.com. Enquiries can also be sent to sahara.foundation@sahara-group.com,” she added.

The maiden edition in 2021 exposed the ten (10) social innovator fellows to blended capacity building sessions in the form of workshops, webinars, immersion sessions, facility tours, cohort meetings, mentoring sessions, one-on-one strategy & finance sessions and Fire chat sessions.

Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries.

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Energy

Asharami Synergy Targets 30% Aviation Fuel Market Share To Enhance Economic Growth

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Asharami Synergy Limited, a Sahara Group Downstream Company, is investing in technology and innovative solutions to enhance its capacity to fuel seamless economic growth through operations in the aviation fuel market.

Asharami Synergy Limited, which is Nigeria’s first indigenous energy company to operate as an independent Aviation Fuel Marketer, controls about 25 percent market share in the industry, operating as the preferred aviation fuel market for local and international airlines.

Foluso Sobanjo, Head, Sahara Downstream Business, at a press briefing in Lagos, said investments in infrastructure, human capital transformation, quality, health,  safety, and environmental sustainability continues to drive service excellence in the organisation.

He said Asharami Synergy would leverage its technology driven supply chain efficiency across the Downstream value chain to deliver distinctive value and innovative solutions in the market. “We have been at the forefront of Oil and Gas enterprise in the West African region for over twenty years.”

In addition, “Asharami Synergy has a formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain. Our quest for increased market share is borne out of our commitment to transforming the sector and spurring economic development,” Sobanjo said.

Asharami Synergy operates in four countries in the Africa and has a combined storage capacity of 81 million litres of Aviation fuel otherwise known as ATK.

The company has over 30 million litres storage capacity for ATK across various locations in Nigeria as well as a fleet of ultramodern bowsers spread across various locations, fueling the development and growth of the national and sub-regional economy by providing seamless access to safe and reliable ATK.

Sobanjo said “safety first and always” is the mantra that drives operations in Asharami Asharami Synergy, a development that has earned the company multiple International Standard Organisation certifications.

He said being a strategic partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives Asharami Synergy a global credibility that is driven by a statutory self-responsibility that propels its business operations in compliance with the highest global standards.

“Asharami Synergy has several ISO certifications; ISO 9001:2015 (Quality), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental) and ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety). This reinforces our commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly in all our operations. Our mantra is Safety First, Safety Always, ensuring that the health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders remains top priority in all business operations,” he added.

Asharami Synergy is a vertically integrated and foremost downstream company in the West African region with established and formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain for over twenty years.

The company emerged from a consolidation of Sahara Group Downstream Companies with interest in procurement, storage, and distribution of white products across Nigeria.

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Business

Video: Oppo Reno 7 Launch

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Did you miss the big launch? Here is Bahati the singer and his wife during the Monday virtual launch of the Oppo Reno 7 phone in Kenya.

The colourful launch gives  the phone a leverage in the market ahead of the rest.

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