Redefining scientific excellence in Africa
African young chemists very often thrive in a difficult environment, whether they return to their home country after a PhD or a post-doc in a developed country, or they have completed their whole research cursus in Africa. Besides the usual issues of getting the budget to buy equipment and chemicals, they may face delays for delivery, the lack of a real laboratory and equipment... and even political instability, or months long university strikes.
It is then difficult for them to be « excellent » scientists with the same measures as chemists working in industrialized countries: number of publications with high impact factor, patents, ability to get grants, scientific awards.
So, what could be the meaning of « being excellent » when you work in Africa (or in a developing country in other parts of the world)? From what kind of achievements should you expect recognition from your university heads, from your peers, in your own country as well as internationally?
IL1: Ghada BASSIONI (professor and head of the chemistry department, Ain Shams university, Egypt)
IL2: Amr ADLY (Vice-Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for University Affairs, Egypt)
IL3: Alice MATIMBA (Overseas Courses Development Officer, Wellcome Genome Campus, UK)
IL4: Adewale ADEWUYI (lecturer and scientist, Redeemer’s University, Nigeria)