I began my career in the tax practice at Ernst & Young in 1999. Thereafter I worked for USAID-funded NGOs in Kampala, before joining Toyota Uganda as a management accountant in 2008. I’m currently head of finance, a position I’ve held since 2013. Like many others, my inspiration to become an accountant came from my interest in mathematics in high school.
When I joined EY's graduate recruitment programme, my interest was audit practice, but I was assigned to the tax department. After three years, I felt I needed to expand the scope of my learning on the accounting side, as I believed I was becoming too specialised in tax too early in my career. I don’t regret my stint in tax practice, though, as it has given me an edge in the corporate world.
One challenge is the flood of counterfeit vehicle spare parts that pervade the market, with no proper response
There have been a number of recent developments in the oil and gas industry in Uganda that affect my sector. The East African crude oil pipeline and our government’s focus on infrastructure development mean there are opportunities for a car manufacturer like Toyota to position itself as a supplier of choice. One challenge we face is the flood of counterfeit vehicle spare parts that pervade the market, with no proper response from the authorities. The largely unregulated used car sector is also a challenge, with Uganda continuing to accept imports of vehicles up to 15 years old.
The electric car is still in the future for Uganda. With only about 30% electrification rate in the country, there is a long way to go before electric cars become a commercially viable option for manufacturers here.
However, the government of Uganda has piloted a project to manufacture an electric bus. The buses are intended to decongest the city centre of Kampala, but we have yet to see how successful this project will be and whether it will be commercially viable.
If I could, I would make a law for every girl child in Uganda to be provided with sanitary products so that they can stay in school throughout the month. Many girls in rural Uganda miss school during their menstrual cycle due to lack of sanitary products. As a result many drop out of school completely.
I enjoy the fact that I’m a partner to the business. I work closely with senior executives to provide solutions that move the company forward. I am also in charge of strategy, which requires me to remain vigilant at all times to ensure we stay ahead of the competition.
Continually challenging myself in doing what needs to be done means I step out of my comfort zone every day. Working for a global company requires a performance and commitment that I’m glad I can meet and surpass.
I love the outdoors and gardening. I spend a lot of time in my garden at home, tinkering with pots and plants. I also love a good run at the weekend. If I wasn’t an accountant, I think I would have been an architect.