Ali Alije Amade
MSc in Finance, DCU
Ali works as a procurement officer for an energy fund in Mozambique. He received a Fellowship award in 2018-19 to study on the MSc in Finance at Dublin City University.
I work as a Procurement Officer for a public institution called FUNAE (Energy Fund) which is subordinated to the Ministry of Energy. The FUNAE's mission is the electrification of rural areas through renewable energy sources: solar systems, mini and micro hydro plants, and wind energy. We also undertake projects for the construction of gas stations in rural areas with the goal of expanding access to gas.
The accounting and finance classes in my undergraduate course were so interesting that I decided to see how things are done in practice. A part-time internship in a small IT company gave me practical experience in book-keeping, taxation and working capital management. This experience not only helped me to consolidate the theory from the classroom, but also shaped my career choice. The interest in finance, and the eagerness to become a remarkable and an in-demand professional, compelled me to search for a program that matched my ambitions. This is how I got to the ACCA Qualification, which is an international professional certification in Accounting and Finance by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. I am currently attending the professional level and have only one module left to reach the affiliation stage. The Master’s Degree in Finance was the next logical step in my academic career.
Most of the modules that I have had so far are totally new to me. They cover areas that I had no idea existed, and are giving me a whole new valuable set of skills and knowledge. I have been introduced to new approaches to different aspects of finance. In addition, the practical experience from the lecturers, and the connection they make to the real world situations, make the course even richer.
Before coming to Dublin, I was terrified to be honest, and very worried about how things would be. I had never studied abroad before, I have never lived alone and away from my family, I am not a native English speaker, and I had never lived, studied or worked in an English spoken environment. Racism was also something that concerned me, and I was afraid of not being able to cope with the demands of this new and unknown territory. However, things have turned out to be different than I imagined. The adjustment process was very easy, I have made friends, and my fears vanished within the very first weeks. I feel totally settled in, and had no reasons to be afraid at all. I do miss the food from home, though.
I believe that, with the insights gained from my master’s degree, I will be able to have a more active participation in financial decision making when I return to Mozambique. Most of our projects are funded by the Government and international donors, and one of the main concerns has to do with the way financial resources are managed so as to achieve value for money. With all I will have learnt during the Master’s Degree, I will be able to improve the financial management of these projects through better financial decisions, increased financial control and more faithful financial reporting.
The fact that I studied in an English spoken country will also be of great value for my organisation because we deal with several international organisations such as the World Bank, BTC and others which have English as the main language. I will be able to assist in many matters.
For my research dissertation, I have two topics in mind at the moment. The development of the capital markets is seen by the Government in Mozambique as a priority and, due to their importance to the economy, attracting small and medium companies to the Mozambique Stock Exchange is one of the goals. My first topic, therefore, is assessing whether the Stock Exchange is a viable source of funding for these companies. The second topic is related to a widely used model to predict returns for investors, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Since the model was developed using assumptions for the United States context, I would like to know whether it can be used by investors in Mozambique in predicting their returns. However, one big problem with these topics is the availability of data. This is not something Mozambican organisations are keen to provide.
Once I finish my Master’s degree, I will return to my organisation and work for at least two years. Since I have always wanted to pursue a career in finance, I may well ask to join the finance team so as to put in practice the knowledge and skills acquired. I believe that these new skills, a better English ability, and a certificate from an internationally recognised University such as DCU will open a set of new doors and provide different career opportunities. I also intend to teach Finance at undergraduate level. As a result of my experience of the ACCA Qualification, I realised that the Finance programmes at universities can be enhanced with different and better approaches. My goal is to help in reviewing the current approaches, and to introduce finance programmes that are in line with the globally recognised and respected professional bodies such as ACCA, CIMA and CFA.