Young Scientists

Amna Abdallah: "To return in Africa as scientists, we should organize"

Who are you?

I am Amna Abdallah Mohamed Khalid. I am from Sudan. I did my master and my PhD in Italy, in Triesta. I did my master in ICTP, which is the International Center for Theoretical Physics. Then I moved for my PhD to Elettra Sincrotrone de Triesta. And right now I work in Germany, in Georg August University. And I’m here to represent not only beeing an African in Europe but also I am the co-chair of the executive committee of Community of Scientists Next Einstein Forum (NEF). And we are working together to enhance science and technology in Africa in general and we are building together the community so we can together work and make different projects to make the environment in Africa good for research.

Why didn’t you go back to Sudan after you got your PhD?

My plan was to go to Africa immediately after doing my PhD in 2016. But later I realized that if I would go back to Africa at this time, I would not have been able to do what I was interested to do because there is a lot of challenging there. And now, working with NEF, we are trying to make the environment better for every African scientists to go back to Africa without any problem. Most of the people I know went back after their PhD and are facing a lot of problems. One or two years later they had to go back to Europe or US. Which mean that going back for me now, it may be a problem. But going back by making collaborations with the people in Africa until there is the state where I can go back easily without any problem.

What can be done to help young scientists return after their PhD?

I think just networking. People have to be connected together. We have a lot of problems, we need to influence policy, we need to work together for research. When people sit together and work, all the problems can be solved. But if you want to work individually, then you will not be able to fight. So my advice is that if an African scientist is interested to go back to Africa, he needs to go to one of the community that is already established in Africa, or to join any net community that would help him, or help her, to do the research without having any challenge or problems that most of the scientists face in general.

What did you find in this conference?

Everyone has a reason to go back: you have family reasons, you have reasons that you want to share your knowledge with the people back in Africa or in your home country. But then how to share it? Are you going to share it as you get it here or will you have to adapt to the area or the environment in your country? So I would say that in this forum, I met different scientists who I am going to be in contact with. And we are together. And the people that I already know in my network, we can work together to go back in Africa in a way that we do well for our countries, we share our knowledge, but also for us to work and develop our knowledge as well. So we are going to work together.

Interview by Jean-Bruno Tagne


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Who are we? is published by Coopetic.

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