She won’t say money is her hobby but Christine Sesay enjoys advising people on finances. Christine is the founder and CEO of Africa’s Moneyprenuer, a financial education platform created to help make discussing money and finances easy and fun.
With a background in accounting, Christine Sesay has always done some accounting —even when she wasn’t working in the field. Her professional interests have taken her across the African continent, Christine has lived in Niger among other countries. However, her career isn’t limited to finances, Christine also works with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, an opportunity that arose during the Ebola epidemic in 2014.
Why did you decide to study accounting?
Like most high school graduates, there is the insecurity of being unsure of what one wants to do. I started taking an accounting course and enjoyed the different aspects of the course.
From that point, I continued to pursue accounting and financial courses in school. I still work in the accounting field, I am in charge of operations in the organization I work and I am responsible for the finance department.
Do you feel your careers have always been linked to your degree in accounting?
Yes, in my current job I am responsible for all monthly financial accounts as well as final yearly accounts.
In past jobs where I was not responsible for day-to-day running of the finance department, I have had budgets that I was expected to manage.
Let’s talk about your time in Niamey, Niger. How was life for you as an African living in another African country? What sort of cultural barriers did you have to navigate?
I enjoyed my time in Niamey. I have lived in other African countries while growing up and therefore it was no strange idea to move to Niger. So, I am used to living in different places and I adjust quickly to my environment.
I found the environment quiet which suited my personality. It was a place ideal for doing my other hobbies such as arts and craft. Niamey had a few spots to hang out and most of the time we had curfews, so I had to find a form of entertainment that was workable.
Niamey provided a lot of time I needed to quickly concentrate on communicating better in French but also to grow in my career.
What was your main motivation to study French?
I have a grandparent who is of Senegalese origin so it somewhere in my lineage. But also, I had a parent that worked in an environment that required the language. Therefore it was an easy motivation for me.
How did you come to start working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation?
During the Ebola outbreak, a lot of foreign agencies came to help Sierra Leone and they all had different ways of doing things. The Ministry of Health was unable to determine the best course of action for the country.
In the midst of other job offers outside Sierra Leone, I chose the job that avails me the opportunity to work with Ministry and assist with system thus strengthening it.Christine Sesay: With the Ebola epidemic, I was determined to help in whatever way I could Click To Tweet
Why was it not an option for you to leave Sierra Leone when Ebola struck?
Sierra Leone is my home. I was devastated to see how things had become within a short period of time with the disease infiltrating the country. Leaving the country at this time, would have been the easy way out. But then, what would I say to my children in the future?
I was not in Sierra Leone for the war, and was much younger to make a decision to help. With the Ebola, I was determined to help in whatever way I could.Christine Sesay: In the midst of other job offers outside Sierra Leone, I chose to work with the… Click To Tweet
Why did you start Africa’s Moneypreneur? In what ways can discussing money and finances be fun?
While working in private sector, I would talk to small groups of women about their finances and advice on taxation issues. However, due to the demands of my job at the time, I could not continue.
In 2015, I watched a lot of families leave Sierra Leone. This was mostly the middle class who could afford to leave Sierra Leone due to Ebola. Therefore, we have a very broken economy once again. Most entrepreneurs are struggling to survive, seeing this, the idea of Africa’s Moneypreneur was born.
It is platform that teaches others how to implement effective financial strategies that support the lifestyle they aspire and deserve. For this reason, I am keen to talk to people on their money and finances.
Would you say money is your hobby?
Advising on finances is one of my hobbies. I also enjoy doing arts and crafts, especially making greeting cards.
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