Taxation and the Realisation of Socioeconomic Rights in Africa: What Is the Role of International Cooperation?

Oamen, Philip E. and Adekanle, Adebolarin (2024) Taxation and the Realisation of Socioeconomic Rights in Africa: What Is the Role of International Cooperation? In: Taxation, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. Routledge. (In Press)

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Socioeconomic rights (SR) aim to address people’s essential material needs, hence their realisation is central towards addressing extreme poverty. Unfortunately, the realisation of these rights is excruciatingly lacking in most African states. A common argument advanced for this non-realisation is that African states cannot fulfil these rights owing to resource constraints. Several scholars have highlighted the essentialness of an effective state tax revenue assessment and collection system towards addressing these resource constraints. Some scholars argue that African states should be accountable for how they use tax revenue to eliminate or reduce extreme poverty. However, existing literature also suggest that the international tax system promotes the interests of the elites, in individual and state perspectives, while attenuating social welfare for the poor. Beyond domestic taxation policy and duty to realise SR locally in Africa, there is an extraterritorial obligation on developed states to help African states in harnessing taxes to realise SR. Drawing on existing human rights instruments and literature, this chapter locates and develops an international cooperation model, as a useful vehicle for realisation of SR in Africa, using Nigeria as a case study. Through the lens of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), the chapter engages with the structural and economic imbalances between developed states and developing states, which make most African states unable to effectively deploy taxation to realise SR. To achieve this goal, the chapter first problematises the duty to cooperate internationally, and then assesses the evolving normative framework on international tax cooperation as a tool for realisation of SR. The chapter discusses the limits and latitudes of this duty to cooperate. It argues that the duty requires developed states to, among others, provide economic and technical support, avoid being tax havens, deploy their power and influence in the Bretton Woods institutions, and ensure that their multinational corporations operating in Africa are not only tax law-compliant, but also complying with human rights obligations.

Item Type: Book Section
8 May 2024Accepted
Subjects: CAH16 - law > CAH16-01 - law > CAH16-01-01 - law
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Law, Social and Criminal Justice
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 22 May 2024 09:41
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 09:41

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