Meet Mwasi from Tanzania, one of the many intelligent women we have met in the fields of Financial Mathematics and Statistics;
Hi Mwasi, we last met in Rwanda – it’s been such a long time! Congratulations upon your Ph.D., and thanks for accepting to join us today
Hi Winnie! Yes, it has been a very long time. I am happy to be here and to share my story with the world.
I know who you are, but, for the sake of our audience, who is Mwasi?
My name is Mwasi Mboya from Tanzania. I am currently a Research Assistant in the fields of Econometrics and Statistics at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. My hands-on experience is in working with long memory time series, fractional co-integration, and statistics, with application to financial markets.
From the time we met, I have known about your interest in Financial Mathematics; how has this journey been like for you?
Since my childhood, I wanted to be a scientist who could contribute to solving global needs. After high school, I was granted a sponsorship by the Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation to join the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, for my B.Sc. degree in actuarial science. Being enthusiastic, I wanted to explore and find a suitable area in actuarial science where I could do my research and make a positive impact on the world. My interest in the area of financial mathematics and statistics had its genesis when I volunteered to work for Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited in 2016. I found the work rewarding as an experience, and it gave me an insight into how complicated the financial world is.
After my bachelor’s degree, I was granted a scholarship and completed my MSc. in mathematical sciences at the African Institute for mathematical sciences (AIMS) in Rwanda, with a distinction. Here I was recognized for being an outstanding student. My master’s thesis was about a risk model with a renewal shot-noise Cox process. The main purpose of my study was to model the claim-arrival rate using a non-homogeneous Poisson process which allows its intensity function to be a stochastic process to capture random complexity of insurance business.
Being an AIMS graduate with an outstanding performance, I was awarded a double degree scholarship at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland. I did my MSc. in Computational engineering and technical physics and majored in techno-mathematics. Through this program, I acquired a deep understanding of Matlab adding it to Python and R that I learned at AIMS. This knowledge was invaluable while I worked on my project in statistical computing to solve complex technical issues.
I also used this knowledge to implement a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques, classical statistical tests, time series analysis, classifications, and clustering. To get a deep understanding of the financial world, I took optional courses in the Business and Finance department. I have recently obtained my Ph.D. in Financial Econometrics and Statistics at Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany.
Congratulations to you once again!
What keeps you motivated in this field of Financial Mathematics, despite the challenges you face?
In this journey called life challenges and obstacles are inevitable, they act like little bumps along the way. They also promote, increase and strengthen us as we continue with our journey. In the end, they leave us with lessons to learn and experiences to enjoy. All that’s needed is a skill-set and mindset to overcome whatever is thrown our way. We should never be afraid to move forward because the struggles we are in today are the strengths we need for tomorrow.
My passion for helping my country save resources is what drives me toward accomplishing what I have set. Because we have few professionals in the field, Tanzania is forced to hire experts from outside the country to perform actuary works. This means spending a lot on them in terms of salaries. I want to be among the few professional actuaries in Africa.
Through my dream, I will direct the extra money and resources to development activities in the country. I also want to invest in the young talents out there lacking the necessary resources for their uplift. My other reason is to encourage the upcoming generations to pursue actuarial studies especially women that think this profession is for men. I believe by fulfilling my dream I will bring about positive change. I have learned to give back to the community with what the Almighty has blessed me with.
Also, teaching gives me a sense of giving back to the community. The interaction with the students is an extremely rewarding experience. I hope to continue this for the foreseeable future.
Who is Mwasi outside all the Financial Mathematics and Statistics?
I enjoy cooking outside work, spending time with family & friends, exercising, and listening to music.
What is your favorite quote?
“Never give up no matter the circumstances because if you do, the only guarantee is that it will never happen” ~ Anonymous.
What is your word of encouragement for a young African girl who wants to join Financial Mathematics?
Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly as it did to get you where you’re going next!
Thanks, Mwasi, for jumping onto this so fast! I am very proud of how far you have come in your field of passion. I know Financial Mathematics has been your mission from day one. Kudos to you!