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Finance, Africa, Globalization

Born and raised until the age of 15 in Ethiopia, I am a young man who will always have Africa in his heart, despite the fact that I have now lived for 17 years in the USA. Eventually, I want to return to Ethiopia and work towards African economic development thorough greater participation and integration into the global economy. I am well prepared linguistically for this challenge since, although I have lived and dreamed in English now for many years, I speak Arabic as well and have continued to improve through study and social contacts—in addition to being fluent in Amharic (Ethiopian) and Tigrina (Eritrean). I see language as one of the key motors of economic development and finance as its foundation.

 I have traveled throughout Australia, in addition to India, the United Arab Emirates, much of Europe, and nearby Sudan—in addition to my home country. Of the many places I have had the opportunity to visit, perhaps the city that I most admire and feel most at home in is San Francisco. In addition to my appreciation for your program, I have the most profound respect for the history and mission of the university—dedicated to social justice. I aspire to become an influential finance professional with an unyielding dedication to moral principles—in addition to a keenly pragmatic, balanced, and increasingly sophisticated agenda. I find myself most attracted to USF’s global perspective, geared towards the highest ideals of social responsibility and I see your program as the finest preparation possible for a life of service towards the goal of helping Africa to become a more just and humane continent. It is my hope that, if I am accepted, I will be able to contribute towards making Africa part of the lively and fruitful discussions taking place in your program about international economic development, especially the importance of Africa as part of the global economy. I am unflinchingly dedicated to international issues in the areas of finance and market efficiency, especially the role of the financial analyst.

Financial markets play an especially critical role in the economic growth of Sub-Saharan African countries. The central problem is that we lack the basic financial infrastructure needed for economic development. I ask you to accept me into your program on behalf of Africa, providing me with the world class intellectual tool kit that I need in order to play an important role in helping Ethiopia and her neighbors to build the necessary financial infrastructure to develop more rapidly, in sustainable ways, through the establishment of financial markets. I firmly believe that obtaining an advanced degree in Finance combined with 5 years of finance and mortgage banking experience would allow me to realize my dream of becoming instrumental in the advancement of my people. My long term goal is to help Ethiopia and her neighbors to develop their own stock exchanges. In the past three years, I have travelled throughout Ethiopia and have the following observations. Several ventures in Ethiopia are raising money from the public to launch Agro-Industries, Oil Distributing companies and other consumer goods manufacturing establishments. However, I saw a lack of transparency of information, lack of proper guidance as to how to raise money and no secondary markets where investors can enter and exit their holdings.  This is why I have done volunteer work with the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, helping to better educate its workforce with respect to basic principles of exchange trading. Furthermore, the country lacks a sound banking infrastructure and suffers from brain drain. Today, there are more doctors, engineers and finance professionals on the East Coast of the United States than in the entire country of Ethiopia. A recent macro economy report completed by Access Capital, an Ethiopian Financial Services firm based out of Addis Ababa suggests that the financial services sector in Ethiopia has grown 25% year-over-year. Furthermore, the authority in charge of handing out banking licenses has indicated a surge in licensing application to open banks. A recent study by World Bank showed the country’s economy has grown by 7 to 8% and will continue to expand for the next 5-7 years. The phenomenal economic growth Ethiopia is experiencing requires skilled financial professionals that are not only motivated by personal financial growth, but also, individuals that want lasting economic, social and political changes. It is my desire and my mission to be part of such seismic changes that we will see in Ethiopia and rest of Sub-Saharan African in the future. This is my primary motivation for pursuing the M.S. Degree in Financial Analysis at the University of XXXX.

 As an undergraduate student, I worked two jobs to help my parents and my three siblings who were displaced due to economic and political hardship. Working two full time jobs, while going to school resulted in my grades suffering a great deal. At times I contemplated dropping out which I never did but completed my degree with less than colorful results. After obtaining my degree, I have worked for Mortgage Banking divisions of XXXX Bank, XXXX Mortgage Corporation and XXXX Bank as a Credit Analyst & Senior Wholesale Account Manager. Now, as a result of a lot of hard work, I feel confident that I am in a position where I would be able to dedicate myself full time to my studies. I deeply appreciate your consideration of my application to your program.

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