PRETORIA – With a degree in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, and a PhD in International Strategic Studies – Dr Amélia Muendane – the President of the Mozambique Revenue Authority and Chairperson of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) Women in Tax Network (ATAF), recently opened up about her leadership journey.
1. Tell us about yourself…
“I have been a civil servant since 1992. I joined through the National Planning Commission, at the time of a centralised approach. I started as a Statistician, and evolved in my career. In 2011 I was appointed Deputy Minister of Planning and Development, a position I held until 2014, and in the following mandate I served as Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, the position I held until I was appointed to the current position as President of the Tax Authority.”
2. What does the AWITN mean to you?
“The ATAF Women In Tax Network is an initiative of ATAF, aimed at bringing together women with different experiences in the tax field and beyond, including other women who contribute in other areas, to ensure exchange of experiences, exchange of knowledge, … this aims at ensuring the empowerment of women, not only in terms of knowledge but also and above all, in terms of their integration in society.”
3. The ATAF Women In Tax Network provides mentoring to ensure that female associates have equal access to shared knowledge and opportunities. Tell us more about the mentoring programme…
“Well, tutoring is the same as mentoring. Mentoring means transmitting knowledge. The interaction between these women will ensure that they transmit experiences to each other. So, the idea of mentoring is really to ensure that women can empower themselves, can impart knowledge and experience, and ensure that they can interact and in such a way ensure greater capacity and development of women. I believe that through the network, we have an opportunity as women to share experience, share knowledge and learn from each other. Therefore, since the network was created, they have interacted by bringing the expertise, which allows us to increase our argumentative capacity, to increase our global vision, therefore, this network allows greater emancipation of women, because they can talk to other women about important issues for economic and social development.”
4. Why did you join the AWITN?
“It is a great honour for me to be part of this network, mostly because with the launch of this initiative, I had the honour of being nominated and appointed the chairperson of of AWITN. It is a new experience to have a more holistic view of women in Africa, to ensure that women from different channels and different experiences can share knowledge.”
5. Why do you think it’s important to have female tax practitioners in top positions?
“Well… I don’t think the issue is to see women in top positions. I think that the struggle of women is to ensure fairness, to ensure equality, same rights, same opportunities. If we are faced with a scenario where there is a man and a woman, and the woman has the capacity to do the same as the man… I think that the process has to be impartial.”
6. What advice do you have for young women entering the tax industry?
“My growth is based on a principle of self-improvement, and for me to achieve self-improvement, I have created… shall we say… values, which I refer to as my VIP principles.
V = Vision – so the woman has to have a vision, she has to know where she wants to be. And then we have the “I” for integrity. A woman must seek integrity in her vision, in her performance, in her action. If she has a very clear vision, and she has principles of integrity, she has taken two important steps towards success.
The third is “P” – “P” stands for perseverance. If a woman has a Vision, has integrity, and is Persevering, she will achieve success. What I would give as advice to this young woman and so many other young women, is to set goals, develop a vision of what they want to achieve, persevere because you will have many obstacles. Use obstacles as the signals that we have in our journeys to pay more attention to our goals and not as barriers and distractions, so if they keep this in mind they will succeed.”
7. What inspires you?
“There are 3 elements that inspire me:
First is Faith in God – I believe if we have faith in something, we will strive to achieve our success. I have faith in God. The Second element that inspires me, is… my mother’s Perseverance and Patience. I learned from her, uh… to be a persevering person, she is for me the mirror of the best society could have given me. The Third element is the permanent struggle for self-improvement, I always try to improve myself. So those are the 3 elements that inspire me.”
Watch Dr Amelia’s interview here.
The ATAF Women In Tax Network (AWITN) is an association which encourages the participation of African women working in taxation in government, private sector, civil society and academia.
Launched in March 2021, the AWITN is a unique platform that represents and connects African women with furthering discussions on the effect of tax policy on gender equality and empowering women in tax.