September 20, 2021
Mohammed Keifala Bayoh recently planted a cassava garden for a class project. As it starts to flourish, the green crop represents far more than just food for the Sierra Leone native; it also represents the application of everything he is learning through his certificate in agribusiness management, a significant step on the path to his future. Mohammed wants to be an economist and to help his country’s government economize their resources.
Trials and tender mercies on the road to a certificate
Sierra Leone is focused on developing its agriculture, so Mohammed is hoping learning more about agribusiness will help him know how to use the region’s natural resources to boost the economy and make a profit to bless the country. But getting to the point of completing his first certificate has included both challenges and miracles. He returned from his mission in October 2019, a time when the opportunity to enroll in universities in his country for that year had passed and the school year had already started. He faced difficulties that made him uncertain about the next steps in his life.
The first miracle came when BYU-Pathway Worldwide was established in his home stake of Kenema. A friend had previously invited him to join BYU-Pathway in another city, but that was hours away and would require him to move there to participate, which wasn’t something he could do. He told himself, “If the Lord wants me to do [BYU-Pathway], He’s going to bring this program to me.” Mohammed was able to enroll in BYU-Pathway in March 2020.
After enrolling, Mohammed and 15 other BYU-Pathway students in his area struggled to find access to computers and the internet to complete assignments. But with the kindness of a local missionary couple allowing him to use their computer, and with the help of the Lord, Mohammed is now well on his way to completing his certificate in agribusiness management, one of three for his applied business management degree.
Applying his certificate in unique ways
When asked to go out into the real world and talk to people in agribusiness for his assignments, Mohammed has had the opportunity to build relationships with others as they share their experiences in entrepreneurship. He is also already seeing how his course “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” will directly help him make a profit off his produce.
“I learned how to make a budget plan in doing a business, and how that budget plan can help you to get a net profit or a net loss. The agribusiness certificate is helping me to know the agriculture needs of the country and to do math, but with people and plants.” He said, “I am going to implement everything they are teaching me to help with my garden and to be able to earn income and take care of myself.”
A spiritual side to business
Mohammed isn’t just learning about business — he’s learning self-reliance! He said, “When you have many debts, you are not able to have peace of mind. This principle taught me to become self-reliant and make myself a plan for whatever things I am able to get in life.”
Through it all, the most important thing Mohammed has learned is that the Lord is always there for him. He said, while pursuing education, “It’s not going to be perfect. It’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of challenges that, as we all know, are a part of life. … [T]he Lord wants to test and strengthen our faith. Build your faith and pray to our Heavenly Father to overcome all these challenges.”