- Remains in the same unenviable spot it obtained in 2020
- But FATF removed Botswana from its grey list in 2021
Botswana benefits from tax abuse by companies and individuals to the tune of approximately $55,496,468 (P669m at current conversion rates), according to a new global ranking by the Tax Justice Network. The report also shows how Botswana loses out on $12,492,548 (about P146m) in revenue.
Out of the 141 countries ranked by the Tax Justice Network, Botswana was ranked 113th, the same position that the country attained in the last ranking, which was in 2020. The latest development comes amid a decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to remove Botswana from its grey list of jurisdictions during its plenary held on 21 October 2021 in Paris.
Having initially grey-listed the country in October 2018, FATF cited improvements in Botswana’s handling of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regimes when it took the decision to remove Botswana from jurisdictions it had grey-listed. Therefore, the expectation was that Botswana’s removal from the grey list would also decrease the chance of being ranked among countries that are “complicit in helping individuals to hide their finances from the rule of law”.
The Financial Secrecy Index is a ranking of jurisdictions or countries most complicit in helping individuals to hide their finances from the rule of law. The Index is produced by the Tax Justice Network and published once every two years. In 2020, the country’s secrecy score stood at 62 but in 2022 it was reduced to 57/100. The secrecy score measures how much scope financial secrecy the jurisdiction’s legal and financial systems allow. The report says 0 means no scope, 100 means unrestricted scope.
Regarding the Financial Secrecy Index share, the report says it stands at 0.24 percent which means Botswana supplies 0.236 percent of the world’s financial secrecy. With regard to the Financial Service Index, which is a measure of how much financial secrecy the jurisdiction supplies resulting from the combination of the jurisdictions’ secrecy score and global scale weight, Botswana scored 80.
On the global scale weight, which measures how much in financial services the jurisdiction provides to residents of other countries, Botswana scored 0.008 percent. This is presented as a percentage of all financial services globally provided by all jurisdictions to non-residents. “Financial secrecy facilitates tax abuse, enables money laundering and undermines the human rights of all,” the international tax watchdog explained. “The index identifies the world’s biggest supplies of financial secrecy and spotlights the laws that governments can change to reduce their contribution to financial secrecy.”