Qn: Tell us about yourself.
My name is Abebe Geletu. I was born and raised in the Southern part of Ethiopia.
Qn: So, how did you join AIMS?
I didn’t ever imagine that I would work at AIMS. It came by chance. I felt my place was in Africa, I had written projects for 5 years and wondered what kind of projects could be done in Africa.
While in Germany, I learned how to use science to make people’s lives better. So, I thought about how I could adopt such research to African problems. The first thing which made me really making uncomfortable is the joblessness in Africa.
There are way too many educated people without jobs, and they are stuck without direction after graduation, whether to take on employment or become self-employed.
Therefore, how can we improve African life? The first thing is to give ideas to educated people so that those who have some background knowledge can be retrained. If somebody can read and write, their reading and writing capacity can be converted into skill conversion.
In Africa, we have health centres, but we need our own medical instruments such as thermometers which are not difficult to manufacture. It is about time we produced our own medical devices and tablets.
We need to know how to program embedded systems. We are able to buy the hardware and program the integration by ourselves.
Qn: What does a German Research Chair do?
So, the German Research Chair is funded by the German Ministry of Education through Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to research in Africa. The purpose is to bring knowledge transfer, do advanced research in direction of Applied Mathematics and make life better in Africa.
Qn: What scientific field does your research focus on?
My scientific field focuses on applied mathematics in control engineering and artificial Intelligence. So, the three areas, particularly optimization
, such as applied mathematics and intelligent control, are very important because everything should be controlled. Resources should be controlled. We don’t have infinite resources so we have to use them efficiently.
Qn: What problems does your research intend to solve?
My research intentions are to solve sustainability problems. Such as sustainability in the agri-food supply chain, water and renewable energy systems.
Qn: How does AIMS contribute to your research?
AIMS guides me on how to contact different government institutions. AIMS has a very good connection in development with government institutions, especially in the area of research, renewable energy research and in the area of water network systems.
Qn: Is there any advice you could give anyone?
Everybody must have a goal in life because we cannot move in life randomly. The young generation must aspire higher and also work hard. If a person likes, they can be stronger than steel. It’s a matter of self-discipline. If you have self-discipline, you should not be afraid of failure.
Failure means that you may have setbacks in life but through setbacks but, giving up is not an option. You are always a starter, not a finisher. It can be a very small step that you do today that will contribute to a greater conclusion. If I write one page today, in one year I have a book of 366 pages. This is how you achieve goals. You do it by divide and conquer. This is what I learnt in life.
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