Fadji Maina has become the first scientist from Niger to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).
The 29-year-old hydrologist earned her PhD in 2016, and joined the world-famous space agency in the US at the end of last month.
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She told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme she will use her new job to give back to her country and the continent:
“I will say to them to not give up to keep going because everyone would think people from Niger, or a young girl from Niger, would not be able to do this. But just believe in yourself and find an environment that will support you,” she said.
Ms Maina said she is the only African in Nasa:
“You get used to it also I think we need to have more people coming from different backgrounds to be able to solve the problems that we are looking at – because different people will have different perspectives.”