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#IWD2022 Celebrating Five Influential Women in Kano


The series of portraits spotlights women and girls who have made it in their respective fields, often in uncharted territories by overcoming barriers and beating the odds to reach their goals, which makes them accomplished. Although far from the limelight, their struggle, passion, and work inspire all who know them and they are role models for many. On these, in commemoration with International Women’s Day 2022 celebration, Bridge Connect Africa Initiative (BCAI) recognizes and celebrates a few women in Kano State; 

Prof Rabia received her award from the Acting Executive Director of BCAI

Prof. Rabia Salihu Sa’id

A scholar and a technologist won the CRDF Grant 2021 for the project in building networks to share experience among women in nuclear security and non-proliferation. She is a Spring Fellow (2020) at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey, California. She received the Nigerian Women in Physics Award for Exemplary Representation in June 2016, received the Kano State Ministry of Science and Technology Award for contribution to the promotion of Science and Technology in Kano State (March 2015), received OWSD/TWAS/ Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career (Physics) (Feb. 2015), received Ford Foundation International Fellowship for Master of Science Study (2002) and was listed on the BBC 100 inspirational women 2015.  

She featured in NATURE: The International Weekly Journal of Science (5th March 2015), featured as a woman champion by British Council Nigeria on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8th March 2015, featured in a BBC interview with Claudia Hammond: Discovery Science, August 2015, and she is a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute (ASI Fellow, 2013). 

Currently, she is the Deputy Director and Chairperson of Quality Assurance, Bayero University Kano Institutional Safety Committee, and Bayero University Kano Physical Safety Sub-Committee respectively, and has assumed many dignified positions in the past. 

Being enthusiastic about young females, she projects the girl-child as a tool for national development, thus encouraging future female scientists. 

Advice for aspiring women/ Young females

Young females should remember that The Girl-child is a tool for national development. To encourage future female scientists, it is important to let them be aware of their importance to national development. In the world, women and girls make up about 50% (49.6%) of the world population of about 7.6 billion people according to the United Nations statistics on population are females, these numbers deserve a sit at the table of decision-making.

Dear Young Woman, find your voice and establish your seat at the policy-making table!


Award of recognition presented to Aisha Tofa by the Acting ED of BCAI
Experience sharing session

She is the Founder of Startup Kano Hub; A Technology Incubation Hub/ Co-working Space in Kano, Nigeria. She has 6 years of experience in the Startup Ecosystem, Brand and Business Development, and Technology Innovation. She has mentored over 500 startups from different industries in the Ecosystem and has led some of these startups to acquire over $500,000 in funding. 

She is the Director/Lead of the Women Founders Group, a not-for-profit platform that promotes Women Economic Resilience in Africa and curates the Women Founders Conference; The Largest Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship conference in Nigeria. Aisha has a Strong background in Communications with a Master’s Degree, and further training from Voice of America, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and British Council among others. 

As a promoter of development, Aisha is a Member of Global Shapers at the World Economic Forum, Tedx Speaker, Technology Enthusiast, and a Women and Youth Advocate.

Aisha is currently building an innovative Tech product that will change the future of startup investment in Africa by coaching Startups on how to Pitch. 

Zainab Naseer Ahmad Receiving her award from the Acting ED of BCAI
Zainab Naseer Ahmad

Zainab Nasir Ahmad

She is the Executive Director of Youth Society for the Prevention of  Infectious Diseases and Social Vices (YOSPIS), a non-governmental organization based in Kano Nigeria, that aims at promoting the well-being of young people through empowerment campaigns and direct service delivery. She is the president of Girl Child Initiative and Community Engagement Kano; an organization that supports young adolescent girls to achieve their potential in health, hygiene and education, and empowerment.

She was the Youth Program Officer of Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) Kano (2019), she is an awardee of the Most Inspiring Northern Woman award by STARTUP Kano and WOMEN FOUNDERS GROUP (2022). She is a Fellow of Search For Common Ground Kano, Nigeria (2021), and Equal Access International \National Geographic (EAI-NATGEO PHOTO CAMP) (2020).

As a proud defender of human rights, Zainab participates in social movements that advocates against sexual violence, gender inequality, and other stereotypes that inhibit the achievement of sustainable development, such include the Arewa Me too movement campaign; “Arewa Me Too” is a coined word used to highlight the gravity of domestic and gender-based violence in northern Nigeria, Lead of Free pads for girls campaign, aimed at the distribution of free sanitary products to adolescent girls in Nigeria and the Convener of the TeaForPeace; a campaign that brings youth together at the same table to have a sip of tea and discuss peace, reasons for violence, and how to mitigate the social problem.

Advice for Aspiring Young Women/Girls: 

We all have those doubts inside of our heads. I know I did, and sometimes I still do. I wonder if I’m good enough if I know what I’m talking about but here’s one thing that I learned to do and I want all girls will learn to do it as well: Know yourself, get short-term and long-term goals, get out of your comfort zone, build a network of contacts, be yourself, work on your self-confidence and most importantly educate yourself.

Dr. Hajara Umar Sanda

Breaking stereotypes and creating history, first female professor of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano, also a publisher in Mass Communication. She has written over sixteen journal articles, five books chapters, and four conference proceedings. She possesses seventeen unpublished journals and seminal papers. 

As a messenger of excellence, she has attended numerous conferences, both local and international, supervised over twenty academic dissertations, and has internally and externally examined academic thesis within Kano State and beyond. 

For administration and community services, she served as the Deputy Dean Students Affairs (2016 – 2020), Sub-Dean Academics, Faculty of Communication (2016), and a level coordinator, department of Mass Communication (2008 – 2014), Bayero University Kano. Also, from 2016 till date, she is the treasurer of, Ihsan Scholarship Foundation; pays fees for Kano indigenous students, especially women and students with disabilities. She is a member of the Fulbright Association of Nigeria (2011 – date), a member of Bayero University Kano 1992 Alumni Association (2015 – date), and a member of SHOGA Alumni Association (2016 – date). 

For University/Committee membership; she was the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Appeals by Students Expelled on Grounds of Examination Misconduct and Entry Irregularity (2019- 2021), member of 2019 Bayero University Kano Convocation Protocol Sub Committee, Member, Tertiary Institutions Social Health Insurance Programme (TSHIP) (2019 -2020), and also the Chairperson Publicity Committee National Conference, Nigeria Center for Reading, Research and Development Bayero University Kano (2019 – Date). She has and still assumes so many dignified positions locally and internationally, 

Advice for aspiring women/ Young females

Work hard in life so that you can excel to be seen and heard at the same time

Fauziyya D. Sulaiman 

Blessed with a tender heart, she created the foundation Creative Helping Needy Foundation, Which targets the less privileged in society.


Written by Favour Christiana Ogbuagu.

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