John Musinguzi, the Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority, urged African countries to work together to emancipate themselves from the effects of slavery and colonialism that have kept them behind.
Musinguzi says African countries face similar challenges, highlighting the average tax-to-GDP ratio, which is at 16%.In developed countries, the GDP is above 30%, Uganda is at 14% while Rwanda is the model of East Africa at 16%.
The URA boss believes that revenue agencies across the continent have the power to change this trend in revenue mobilization.
Musinguzi made these remarks at Serena Hotel in Kampala where he was meeting delegations from the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone.
“The destiny of the continent is shared and the prosperity of Sierra Leone is the same for Uganda,” he stated.
His remarks come after a week-long benchmark on the URA’s Digital Tracking Solution by a delegation from Sierra Leone.
The delegation, led by Kadiatu Alie, the Deputy Minister of Finance, expressed gratitude to URA for the guidance and exposure to DTS. He stated that they were eager to apply the acquired knowledge and expressed his willingness to continue collaborating with URA.
According to Jeneba Bangura, the Commissioner General of the Sierra Leone NRA, DTS implementation started in Sierra Leone this month. He said, “We are applying the knowledge we have gained back home to make sure excise revenue is increased.”
Mbera Rukamirwa Emmy, the Assistant Commissioner of the Tax Control and Operational Support Division, RRA, shared Rwanda’s experience with using the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) for the last 11 years.
He noted that that system has helped overcome the challenges that come with collecting revenue in a cash economy such as Rwanda.
According to Rukamirwa, EFRIS has bolstered growth in VAT collections, and currently, the tax head generates the majority of Rwanda’s revenue. He underlined the importance of data collection while using EFRIS and other similar technologies.