For The Love of Science and The Power of Support Systems

June 27, 2024


Ndèye Awa Fall

Research Officer


Briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Ndèye Awa Fall. I am from Saint-Louis, located approximately 287 kilometers north of Dakar, Senegal. I completed my studies and graduated as a health geographer. Thereafter, I relocated to Dakar for work. In 2019, I joined APHRC as a Research Officer, a role I currently serve. Beyond my professional life, I am a wife and a mother to two amazing boys.

How has your experience working at APHRC been?
APHRC offers a very good working environment that allows one to learn, grow, and excel. I have experienced exceptional growth since joining the Center, expanding my scope and skills in various areas. At work, overcoming the language barrier was my biggest challenge initially. This presented a significant hurdle as this was the first time I had to collaborate with English-speaking colleagues on a daily basis. However, with my supervisor and team’s unwavering support and adaptability as a fast learner, I have successfully navigated these and accomplished my daily tasks.

Please shed light on the setting up of the Senegal office and what impact it has had on the West Africa region in terms of research and projects.
Setting up the West African Regional Office was a significant milestone. Senegal is a gateway into the rest of the West African region, characterized by its uniqueness and context. The WARO office is well-grounded, and I think we will contribute more to research in West Africa with improved communication and visibility. We have established partnerships and enhanced collaborations with some institutions in the region, jointly conducting research and various interventions in Senegal and beyond.

What do you enjoy most about working at APHRC?
I enjoy bonding with my colleagues. If you are ever in WARO, you will be surprised to see colleagues sharing a plate of ‘thiebou diene’, a traditional Senegalese dish made of rice, fish, and a variety of vegetables. (This dish is served as lunch in most households and restaurants across the country). This act reflects our close relationship as staff in WARO.

What is unique about your career path? A woman in science in West Africa may not be common, are there any cultural or societal limitations?
My parents were both teachers; my father taught physical science while my mum taught elementary school. They understood the value of education, and as a result, I grew up without any limitations in pursuing higher education. They always encouraged me to keep moving forward. Growing up in such a favorable environment ignited my love for science. I also had really good teachers who inspired me, and even after I got married, my husband continued to support me in my career growth, something I am truly very grateful for. When an opportunity arises, I sign up for relevant courses and webinars to continue expanding my knowledge. I am also planning to start my Ph.D.

What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
I like spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy selling different kinds of stuff for ‘hijab’ girls, including jellabas, scarves, and other accessories. Maybe I will open a clothing store one day!

If you were to meet someone famous, who would it be and why?
As a Muslim girl, I wish to meet the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). I have read his story, and his wisdom and character inspire me.