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I identify with your series ‘Career resources for African scientists’ (go.nature.com/3sl3jdu), which outlines contributions by those scholars to the African continent. I am a PhD candidate from Morocco at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, working at the Research Institute for Green Growth that is jointly run by the university and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. COVID-19 restrictions have kept me from visiting my family since 2019, yet knowing that we need more African researchers and more female voices motivates me to keep learning and pursuing my goals.