I was born and brought up in Gabon, in a typical traditional Africanfamily of eleven children. My parents were poor and sometimesstruggled to provide us with basic needs such as food, schoolexpenses, clothes, and health care. My father was a teacher, while mymother was a peasant farmer. They taught me, and my siblings, to workhard to be successful in life, despite the financial challenges. Insub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of the population lives in poverty.Although there has been substantial economic development in therecent past, up to 48 percent of the people live on less than $1.25 aday.
Consequently, my family members, including my aunt, were very proudof me when I attained a high school diploma. Considering thefinancial challenges faced by my community and the situation in thecountry, it was a great achievement. In the western world, basiceducation is free and compulsory. Things are different in relativelypoor countries, where accessibility and quality of learning are notguaranteed. Access to college is a much bigger problem. Through thehelp of my aunt, I was able to progress with my studies. Due to herwise counsel and encouragement, I was able to persevere and remainfocused on my goals. Eventually, in was able to complete myundergraduate program and start my career in the financial industry.
Financial systems in the majority of African countries, includingGabon, are underdeveloped. This motivated me to join a professionthat will have an impact on this critical sector of the economy. Istarted my career as an agent in a microfinance institution. Myresponsibility included opening accounts and signing up loans tobusinesses and individuals. Since I was able to meet my monthlyobjectives and performed excellently in my duties, I was promoted toa loan officer and later given a management position. Two yearslater, I secured a job in one of the largest financial institutionsin the region, where I worked as a loan analyst. These achievementswere due to my commitment to my career.
In 2011, I moved from Gabon to the United States to further studies.I am pursuing a post-graduate program, Masters in FinancialManagement and Information Systems. While continuing with my studies,I work as a volunteer in a non-profit organization. Due to myleadership experience, I am the team manager. I am married and havefour children. Consequently, I am seeking a scholarship to proceedwith my education program.
The scholarship will enable me to achieve my professional andacademic goals. In the short run, I want to enhance my managementskills. This will equip me will knowledge and tools that areessential in dealing with challenges facing financial institutions,especially in Africa. Consequently, I will be able to contributepositively to the economy of my home country.
My primary long-term goal is to be a financial systems consultant. Iwould like to open a consulting firm in Gabon, which will offer riskand operations management services to local institutions. There areseveral organizations in sub-Saharan Africa which are performingpoorly or have collapsed due to management problems. Throughconsultancy, I will be able to contribute to the community by helpingstruggling institutions. My desire is to see a local economy in whichboth individuals and corporate organizations have access to betterand secure financial services.