MRA officer wins ATAF Essay Competition

MRA officer wins ATAF Essay Competition

A Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officer has won the 2018 African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) Essay Competition.

Frank Kalizinje, Business Intelligence Analyst and Researcher in the Customs & Excise Division, emerged the overall winner of the inaugural essay competition. 

The theme of the competition was “How to Increase Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) in Africa” and it was open to all African researchers.   

Kalizinje wrote an essay titled “The Revenue and Corrective Potential of Motor Vehicle Ownership Tax (MVOT)”. 

In the essay, he argued that MVOT is one of the cheapest and implementable ways of raising revenue while achieving numerous corrective objectives. 

“The MVOT is practical and it adheres to most of the principles of taxation. Firstly, just like real property tax, the MVOT is more efficient compared to say income tax because its burden falls on wealth not productive activities hence not distortional to decisions to supply and invest in the form of human and physical capital. 

“Since it is a variant of wealth tax, it is also a progressive tax as it targets the middle to upper class which affords non-essential goods like personal cars,” he argues in the essay. 

Kalizinje said he was delighted to win the essay competition.

"I am super-excited considering that its a continental (Africa-wide) award and I got $1,500. I worked hard for it and was happy that it was worth the (time, effort) investment. My aspiration is to make significant impact to MRA through tax research," he said. 

The award was presented at the 5th ATAF General Assembly and Conference in Gaborone, Botswana from 22-26 October, 2018. The theme of the conference was “Moving Africa Beyond Aid Through Tax Revenue Mobilization”.

MRA Deputy Commissioner General Roza Mbilizi and ATAF Executive Secretary Logan Wort and presented the award to Kalizinje at the conference.

The essay competition was designed to encourage young African researchers, academics and tax officials to identify problems or challenges faced by African tax administrations and propose innovative solutions. 
By Wadza Otomani


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