To have a PhD is the ‘icing on the cake’ for Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea who, along with 15 other candidates, achieved this academic milestone at the virtual graduation ceremony in April. “With all the qualifications (both academic and professional), expertise and experience I have gained over 28 years in various disciplines of finance, accounting, economics, taxation and law, a PhD has enabled me to document an aspect of my multidisciplinary make-up to contribute to knowledge,” he points out. Read more about his studies, career and experience at UP below.
Q: What was the topic of your PhD thesis and why did you specifically select it?
The topic for my PhD thesis was An examination of oil and gas taxation and revenue management in Ghana
. I selected this topic to investigate whether Ghana requires reappraisal and amendment of its laws on taxation of the oil and gas sector and the management of the expected revenues from these sources, as well as institutional reforms that improve governance.
Q: In your opinion, to what extent does a PhD ensure/boost business/career success?
A: A PhD is relevant to business/career success as it enables you to contribute to knowledge, and the in-depth nature of the research required allows you to come up with recommendations that ensure business and institutional growth.
It builds the capacity of the PhD holder to be a leader in the chosen discipline, paving the way for success. New insights are gained to enable PhD holders to think outside the box as they review existing literature, analyse research findings and come up with alternative and better ways to improve existing processes and procedures. A PhD holder can therefore impart knowledge better as a lecturer and resourceful person.
Q: Are you happy with the way your career has evolved?
A: Yes, I am very happy and deem it as icing on the cake to possess a PhD. This is because with all the qualifications (both academic and professional), expertise and experience I have gained over 28 years in various disciplines of finance, accounting, economics, taxation and law, a PhD has enabled me to document an aspect of my multidisciplinary make-up to contribute to knowledge.
Q: What are the most compelling/rewarding aspects of your current job?
A: As a legal practitioner, I feel rewarded if my clients are satisfied with the output of my legal opinions and successful defence of their cases in court. This then compels me to do more research if I am to write a legal opinion or prepare my defence in a case for court. As a lecturer, I feel rewarded when my students appreciate the knowledge imparted to them and it is a joy to find them performing creditably in school and on the job, after school.
Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?
A: My studies at UP brought the best out of me. My lecturers and my supervisors (Prof Riel Franzsen and Prof Augustin Fosu) were excellent and delivered their best to me in both lectures and during my research. Various lecturers with diverse backgrounds and expertise shared their knowledge and materials with me, which assisted me in my studies and research. The library and resources at UP are excellent and were most helpful in my studies. Prof Riel Franzsen and UP gave me opportunities to make presentations at a number of conferences and workshops, which contributed to my success.
Q: What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt from your studies/lecturers at the University of Pretoria?
A: Some of the valuable lessons include being meticulous, paying attention to detail, avoiding plagiarism by ensuring all sources are duly acknowledged and well referenced. My lecturers and supervisors encouraged me to read widely and remain focused, which assisted me in my research. My studies taught me perseverance and tenacity, which are great lessons.
Q: What is your “golden guideline” in life, in other words what keeps you on track?
A: Hard work, humility, perseverance, patience and respect.
Q: Going forward, what are your career and personal goals?
A: After over 28 years’ working experience in Taxation, Financial Management Reviews and Investigations, 12 years of which include legal practice and 17 years entailing part-time lecturing, I intend to go into full-time lecturing and publishing more works to contribute to knowledge.
Q: How is the SA economy, and business in general, likely to be reshaped post COVID-19?
A: The SA economy, and business in general, would require a number of interventions and stimulus packages to bounce back post COVID-19. These would include tax breaks, revised filing requirements of tax returns, repackaging of debt owed to financial institutions, the revision of terms in loan agreements, among others. With the lockdown and the introduction of working from home, e-commerce and other cyber-related modes of doing business will likely boom.