My name is Ekua Afrakoma Armoo. I am a former DAAD scholarship holder and I studied MSc Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering (TropHEE – one of the EPOS study programmes) at the Technische Universitaat (TU) Darmstadt from October 2015 to October 2017.

I am currently the Projects Coordinator at the Institute of Industrial Research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-IIR). Studying in Germany provided me an excellent opportunity to develop my career by especially enhancing my technical and soft skills. The exposure was so great; studying in a multicultural team with state-of-the-art facilities and making numerous travels across Germany, Europe, UK and USA.

Akua in a garden in Hannover (exploring Germany and its landscape during her studies)

How did you get interest in studying science and engineering?

Science is an exciting field, especially because it is so real and tangible. I noticed even as a child that I excelled in agricultural science because I could understand and apply what I studied to get tangible results. In Germany, I did a lot of hiking on weekends with my German friends because I loved nature. Higher studies in science and engineering, especially for young African women means they can explore, create and innovate solutions to local problems but in a global context. As part of my MSc research work, I designed and developed a wastewater treatment setup that allows households to treat their greywater and recycle the water for irrigation or toilet flushing. This improves sanitation within communities by reducing poor disposal of wastewater. I hope to develop this further to be adopted in urban areas.

Akua working on a project at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources – BGR, Germany

Any advice to the young african women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)?

I believe the next generation of Ghanaian (African) scientists have greater opportunities to develop solutions because the world is now more interconnected with greater access to information. If each scientist purposefully seeks to develop at least one solution to our local challenges, the next generation looks brighter for our country.

I believe we can!