UNIJOS don gets Bangor University award

..Becomes first black to be elected Bangor City Councillor 
A senior lecturer and Deputy Director, Centre for Climate change at the University of Jos, Dr. Salamatu Jidda-Fada, has been confered with an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy by the prestigious University of Bangor, Wales in the United Kingdom.

She was said to be the first black person to be elected as a Councillor for Bangor City Council.

Other recipients are Caradog ‘Crag’ Jones, the first Welshman to reach the summit of Everest in May 1995 at the age of 33; Dr Dafydd Owen, who led the multidisciplinary preclinical team that discovered PAXLOVID, the first FDA-approved oral treatment for Covid-19; and Emeritus Professor Gareth Ffowc Roberts, a former Pro-Chancellor of Bangor University, former member of its Council and Mathematics graduate from Oxford University, who worked extensively in education in Wales before becoming Principal of Coleg Normal, Bangor. 

Others are Caradog ‘Crag’ Jones, the first Welshman to reach the summit of Everest in May 1995 at the age of 33; Steve Barshall, Dr Tina Barsby, Richard Broyd, Dr Pauline Cutting, Gwyn Evans and Dafydd Iwan. 

According to the information posted on the institution's website, she was among the eleven individuals honored this summer from the worlds of science, law, sport, the arts and popular culture for their contribution to public life.

The statement said, "Dr Salamatu Jidda-Fada is a Nigerian-born conservation scientist and educator. She was a research fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, and visiting researcher in the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University. Still based in Bangor, Salamatu works as a conservation consultant in promoting a greener Wales and is active in promoting environmental awareness amongst ethnic minority communities and the wider Welsh society. 

"Stemming from her work as founder of the North Wales Africa Society, Salamatu contributed to the Welsh Government Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Group as a member and is the Vice Chair for Adult Learning Wales. She is also an advisory member of the RSPB Cymru and is the first black person to be elected as a Councillor for Bangor City Council."

The Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, Prof. Edmund Burke said, "Graduation ceremonies are the highlight of the academic year, celebrating the achievements and hard work of our students. 

"We are really delighted to award honorary degrees to individuals who have made highly valued contributions to public life and who serve to inspire today’s young graduates as they embark on their careers.”

Delivering her speech, Jidda-Fada hoped that some of the principles that have shaped her life: purpose, self-development and discipline would be of benefit to dignitaries.

She said, "I come from the most educationally deprived region in Nigeria. Nigeria has about 9.5 million out-of-school children. In most areas, those in school are still very poorly educated through untrained teachers and a lack teaching resources. Fortunately, I come from a family that has placed a premium on education, especially for the girl-child. 

"It was therefore natural for my parents, who themselves were well educated, to send me to the best affordable schools which earned me a place as lecturer in the University of Jos in 2005.

"My ambition on coming to University of Bangor, was to earn a PhD and go back home to - Nigeria. I never imagined that twelve years later, Bangor would be my second home. I have family, very good friends and a community I love and feel a sense of responsibility towards. However, it’s been a long journey, full of challenges – doing a PhD with four young children (ages 2, 6,8 and 10) without help in the first year...relocating, and settling into a new country, managing racism, etc.

"My friend Liz Millman who is also here today prompted me to start the African Society in Bangor. Initially, I was very hesitant. Eventually I did with Cllr. John Wyn Jones and my daughter Vanessa Fada in Sept 2018. The society has grown to almost 500 people and counting. We support the black community, helping them integrate into the society and providing them with skills acquisition and linking them to jobs, among others.

"I am also involved in other Charities, Tallafi UK; support hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria, Network of Women for Sustainable Development which supports schoolgirls with period products and resources, and Coalition for Biodiversity Conservationists of Nigeria, focuses on working with local conservation professionals and practitioners to protect and showcase Nigeria’s wildlife. 

"I currently serve on the leadership of government and non-governmental organizations in Wales and in Nigeria."

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