(Ecofin Agency) - The Benin Tax Authority (DGI) launched its inaugural "Fiscathon" on October 30. This is a digital innovation contest aimed at addressing various challenges faced by local taxation. The most outstanding teams from this competition received prizes on November 3.
The Benin Tax Authority DGI, in collaboration with Epitech Benin School, rewarded the top teams from the first "Fiscathon" edition on November 3. The three teams that proposed the most effective solutions within their respective categories were awarded by the tax authorities and their partners. Each team received a check of CFA2,500,000, slightly over $4,091, along with various equipment and vouchers.
The team "Efâ" received the first prize in the "Tax Forecast" category for their tax simulator, which considers the taxpayer's business activities in accordance with the current General Tax Code. Under the "Simplified Invoicing" category, "Fisc Angels" won. The team presented a web application for issuing standardized invoices that automatically incorporate taxation for all types of taxpayers.
In the "Tax Accessibility" category, the team "Toffa" emerged victorious by providing a multi-language voice assistance solution, including local languages, for the payment of market taxes (imposed on traders in fairs and markets).
The three other finalist teams also received equipment kits provided by various event sponsors, such as the German cooperation (GIZ), the telecom operators MTN and Moov Benin, the internet service provider Isocel, and the pay-TV operator Canal+, among others. At the competition's kickoff on October 30, 90 participants, including developers, designers, and tax experts, were divided into 18 teams. According to the organizers, the work behind the awarded solutions and even those of the other finalist teams signals a promising future for the digitalization of taxation in Benin.
"The harvest is fruitful. [...] These solutions will not only help improve the quality of services provided to taxpayers but also modernize the Benin tax system. The DGI will proceed with the development phase of the three winning solutions to create beta versions," said Nicolas Yènoussi, the Director General of Taxes.
During the closing ceremony, Abossé Akue-Kpakpo, the Director of Digital Economy at the UEMOA Commission, announced that the West African Development Bank will offer "substantial support to the winners to continue their work." "We will, in collaboration with the DGI, organize this support, which could commence as early as 2024," he specified.
The Fiscathon organizers announced their intention to repeat the experience, not only for the solutions but also for promoting taxation.