By Fred Siminyu
Kampala—11, July 2020: The former Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General (CG) Doris Akol is entering the world of business management by becoming a co-owner of an International Law firm.
It is now evident that all arrangements are soon to be finalized to enable her to join the current owners of Dentons Uganda office; an international law firm as a Partner.
Dentons, the first international law firm in Africa was first established in Cairo in 1964 and now with over 15,000 lawyers, it stands out as the largest law firm in the world.
Operating in 13 locations across Africa, providing several services across various sectors and practices, this firm handles Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Construction, Corporate Tax, Energy, Intellectual Property, Banking and Finance, Labour and Employment Law, Restructuring and Securitization.
Registered under the name of Kyagaba & Otatiina Advocates in Uganda, the firm was founded in early 2019 by a team of five experienced lawyers; David Mpanga, Dennis Otatiina, Isaac Kyagaba, John Musiime, and Pearl Nyakabwa.
Who is Doris Akol?
Doris Akol, born in 1970, attended Nakasero Primary School, then Mount Saint Mary’s College Namagunga for O-Level and completed A’Level at Nabisunsa Girls’ Secondary School.
She obtained a Bachelor’s degree of Laws (LLB) in 1993 from Makerere University, She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management from Uganda Management Institute.
Akol also holds an MBA in Leadership Innovation and Change from the York St. John University in the United Kingdom, as well as an LLM in International Business, majoring in Trade and Tax Law from McGill University in Canada. She is a Chartered Secretary and Governance Professional Fellow ICSA.
In 2012 she was appointed Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Board Matters at URA, a position she served up to 2014 when she was appointed Commissioner-General in October 30th 2014.
Akol is a decorated lawyer and in 2014, Uganda Law Society awarded her Best Female Lawyer of the year. She is also a member of East African Law Society.
During her time while at the helm of URA, she received the African Women in Leadership Award, from the African Virtuous Women Awards Organisation, in recognition of her leadership qualities and achievements.
In March 2018, she also received the 2018 Person of the Year Public Excellence Award, from African Leadership Magazine, in recognition of her leadership’s contribution to growth and development.
Akol introduced various initiatives that have boosted rate of tax compliance over time these include; Tax Registration Expansion Program (TREP), robust tax education and sensitisation campaigns and block management (physical identification and mapping of taxpayers.)
She ordered for deployment of URA staff at One-Stop Shops (OSS) in over 34 municipalities to ensure that taxpayers register their business name, acquire trade licenses and register for taxes under the same roof. This move has increased the tax base of the country.
She advocated for taxpayer education and compliance and they were conducted countryside, other activities like countrywide budget breakfast meetings, tax katales, familiarization visits to the top taxpayers, university debates and establishment of tax societies in all the major universities. Such initiatives have increased levels of tax literacy in Uganda.
Akol also introduced a Tax Agent Registration Committee (TARC) to regulate the operations of tax agents.
Other than growing tax revenue by 83% from UGX9.7 trillion to UGX 16.6tn- cumulatively collecting UGX65 trillion, Akol, amongst many other achievements, also nearly doubled the tax register growing it by 95% from 763,150 taxpayers to 1,487,354 at the end of FY2018/19.
In the 5 years she was Commissioner-General, Doris grew tax revenue by more than 83percent from UGX9.9 trillion in FY2014/15 to UGX 16.6 trillion in FY 2018/19- cumulatively collecting UGX65 trillion. She also nearly doubled the tax register, growing it from 763,150 taxpayers to 1,487,354 at the end of FY2018/19.
Tax to GDP ratio increased from 12.84 percent in FY 2014/15 to 15.11 percent in FY 2018/19 above the NDPII target of 14.90 percent.