Succeed in Africa
Succeed in Africa
My experience in Ghana serves as the foundation for my professional life.
After completing my secondary education in The Gambia in 2009, I moved to Ghana to begin a two-year Advanced Level (A-Level) course. I was 15 at the time and had no family in Accra, but thankfully, some of my former classmates were also moving to Accra to pursue their A-Levels. Ghana has long been known as an education powerhouse in West Africa, with many people moving there to pursue their education, including the first President of The Gambia. Many Ghanaian teachers also travel to other countries in West Africa to teach.
Ghana is part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as a result, I was able to reside and go to school there as a Gambian citizen without many challenges in regularizing my residency status throughout my seven-year stay.
The most challenging part of moving to Ghana was being away from home for the first time. I was so young and had never lived away from my parents. What helped was the support I got from my school and the shared experiences I had with my classmates who were also living abroad for the first time. After completing my A-Levels, I got accepted into Central University, Ghana, where I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Economics.
There is this perception that degrees from tertiary institutions in Africa are not as valuable as ones obtained in Europe or America. I would like to challenge that notion and change that narrative. It is important that people celebrate and uplift African universities. After graduation, I secured a job with The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) as a Business Development Officer, then was later promoted to Senior Business Development Officer.
In 2016, I was awarded a two-year scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the International University of Japan. Upon completion, I returned and was promoted to Manager for Business Development and Projects. I currently lead a team of eight people in business support services, transit trade, research, projects and operations. Today, I am the Acting Deputy CEO of GCCI, an appointment I received in August 2021.
My experience in Ghana served as the foundation for my professional life. Though I got my MBA in Japan, I still give credit to my A-Level and undergraduate experience in Ghana as the cornerstone of who I am professionally today. I think more people should consider educational experiences within this region – because the experience can truly be enriching.
Ghana is one example of a country with a wide array of educational opportunities that Gambians can apply for, but there are other countries in the region as well. If you are interested in moving abroad for educational or vocational purposes, it is important to do research on the opportunities available to ensure that you are choosing a program that best suits you.