Dr. Boateng, an African scientist in China with a vision to increase research in oil and gas exploration techniques in Africa
At 35, Dr. Cyril D. Boateng was born in a town called Ho in Ghana. While growing up, he did not have scientist role model but decided to pursue a STEM career while attending high school without having a clear idea of where his choice will land him. In general he was looking for a career which will provide the opportunity for lifelong reading and learning.
The Ghanaian scientist started his scientific career as a senior instructor at Kumasi Technical University where he taught for 6 years. Then he was awarded the prestigious CAS-TWAS Presidential fellowship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to pursue PhD studies in Geophysics. Currently, he is pursuing scientific research in exploration geophysics specifically designing new methods of imaging complex oil and gas reservoirs.
Importantly, the methodologies he has developed can help in improving the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources in Africa.
Always professional at work, Dr. Boateng’s typical working day involves writing scientific articles, writing and testing codes and generating ideas for his research. For Cyril, It is not a myth to have the same working schedule in Africa. He continues, “I do not think it is a myth to have this typical work life in Africa. It only takes a few resources and data from government and private companies to set up the same sort of research capability in any African country. I tend to think it is more dependent on commitment than resources”.
For his next career move, Dr. Boateng plans to get back to Africa. He left Africa to improve his skills in Geophysics because; resources for his research were not available in Ghana. Currently, Dr Boateng has acquired important and critical knowledge in the field of Geophysics and he is ready to move back to implement his scientific skills in Ghana and train the next generation of scientists to prevent young scientists and students in science in Africa from experiencing the same challenges he faced during his STEM education. Definitely, Dr. Boateng is a change maker and we wish him all the best and a bright future.
To the question about how African scientists in the diaspora could contribute to improve science and technology in Africa, Dr. Boateng emphasizes on the necessity to go to Africa to change the narrative and improve the systems in African universities and research institutions. For the of scientists who are already established in the diaspora, Dr. Boateng suggests a collaborative initiative between scientists in the diaspora and scientists in Africa. For Dr. Boateng, if Africa has to become a very attractive and developed continent, Africans have to change and transform their universities and research institutions capabilities in terms of scientific research. From these institutions, many innovative ideas should emerge to efficiently tackle Africa’s problems.
Dr. Boateng has some final advice for the future generation of African scientists in Diaspora.
“Let’s all go home and change the narrative. If I had a wish, it will be making sure majority of Africans will do their postgraduate studies in Africa and use this knowledge to solve Africa’s problems. Currently, we send our best and brightest to solve the problems of other countries because we do not have good postgraduate programs. And when they are done, the host nations keep them”.