Hafsat Mohammed Baba: The Making Of A Woman Of Substance

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Hajiya Hafsat

Beginning

Hajiya Hafsat M. Baba was born on the 17th of July, 1957 in Hadejia (now in Jigawa State) of Katsina parentage. She began her primary school in Sokoto from where she proceeded to Queen of Apostles College (now Queen Amina College), as her father who was a health officer was transferred to Kaduna in the early 70s. Hajiya Hafsat attended the Kaduna Polytechnic for tertiary education, earning National Diploma and Higher National Diploma certificates in Catering and Hotel Management. She has since added Postgraduate Diplomas (PGD) in International Relations (Kaduna Polytechnic) and Peace & Conflict Resolution at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)

Work

Beginning work with the Kaduna Ministry of Health as part of her service year, Hajiya Hafsat started service of the State as Officer 1 at the New General Hospital (Now Barau Dikko Hospital), Kaduna. She went on to work in the Government House, Kaduna; National Teachers’ Institute and Albarka Airlines from where, in 2002 she moved into the social/advocacy sector. Her experience in the social and non-governmental sector saw her serving in various positions beginning as State Coordinator, Women and Youth Opinion Leaders Forum, Kaduna; and as Project Coordinator, Jam’iyyar Matan Arewa, Kaduna; both between 2002 and 2006. From 2006, in the National Council for Women Society, Kaduna, she served as Research Coordinator till 2010 and as Assistant Secretary till her appointment as Commissioner for Women Affairs by Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i. Until Hajiya’s appointment, she was Consultant Councillor on HIV/AIDS for the BBC World Service Trust Radio Programme from 2006 and Gender Advocacy Consultant for the UNDP from 2013. Hajiya Hafsat had founded the Global Initiative for Women and Children (GIWAC) in Kaduna in 2004 and coordinated same ever since.

Politics

Hajiya Hafsat the politician

Hajiya Hafsat Baba is a well established grassroots politician who began to grind her political gears in the defunct APP/ANPP as a delegate representing Unguwan Sarki Ward from 1999 to 2002 and rising to become Treasurer of the Presidential Campaign Committee, North West Zone while aspiring to become a Member of the Federal House of Representatives for Kaduna North in 2007. She became the Chairperson of Kaduna State ANPP in 2012. After serving as a member of the Technical Committee of ACN, she was the National Women Leader between 2011 and 2013 and a member of the ACN Convention Committee. On the merger of political parties to form the APC, Hajiya Hafsat Baba served as the Secretary of the APC National Peace and Reconciliation Committee, North East and Member of the APC Committee on the conduct of Governorship Primaries in Adamawa State; all in 2014. Hajiya aspired to represent Kaduna North in the Federal House of Representatives once again in 2015. Also politically, Hajiya Hafsat Baba was a Founding Member and Vice President (North) of the Women in Politics Forum. Hajiya therefore was long established in the political firmament of Kaduna and Nigeria as a whole as a shining example for the womenfolk and a trusted hand in political leadership. Her appointment as Commissioner is an affirmation of that leadership position.

Non-Governmental Activities

Hajiya Hafsat the philanthropist

In the course of Hajiya Hafsat Baba’s sojourn as a social activist and humanitarian worker, she has participated in a lot of training, conferences and workshops on various issues bordering on Women and Women’s rights, Social Rights, Gender and Equality, Health and HIV/AIDS, Child’s Right, Leadership, Social Media, various capacity building workshops, advocacy trainings amongst others. These trainings were both locally and internationally, including those organised by UNFPA, USAID, OXFAM, IRI, DFiD, NURHI (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), British Council, NIPSS etc. The trainings and workshops have ingrained in Hajiya Hafsat a vastness and capacity which can only be equaled by a few and envied by many.

Awards and Memberships

Hajiya Hafsat Baba has been awarded on numerous occasions by several bodies. She is a recipient of the Ambassador of Peace Icon of the Middle Belt Youth Organisations Award. She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the success of the ENR programme in Kaduna in 2012 as well as the NURHI demand generation activities in Kaduna in 2015. Hajiya Hafsat is a recipient of an Award for exceptional leadership by VORi and also by the Women Advancement Forum MDG in South Africa in 2013. The BBC and IFESH-USAID also presented her awards in recognition of her exemplary contribution to programmes by the organisations, as councillour on HIV/AIDS and as part of the Conflict Management and Mitigation Regional Council Training respectively. She had received awards from the NCWS and the Initiative for Social Sector Strategy (ISSS) in 2006. Hajiya Hafsat retains membership in a number of organisations. These include: Global Initiative for Women and Children (GIWAC), Women Interfaith Council (WIC), Child Protection Network (CPN), Women Democratic Network (WDN) Washington DC, Women for Equity and Fairness in Nigeria, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Advocacy Core Group (ACG NURHI), Child Spacing Advocacy Team (C-SAT), and Movement for Better Future.

Projects

Hajiya Hafsat the humanitarian

Hajiya Hafsat Baba has executed a number of projects with which she has built a reservoir of experience from which she can draw in executing her role as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development. These projects include, but are not limited to, NURHI’s Family Planning/Child Spacing Projects; Society for Family Health (SFH)’s Roll Back Malaria Programme; the European Union (EU)’s Water and Sanitation Project; Kaduna State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (KADSACA’s) Fund I and II; Coordinating the Japanese Embassy’s Micro credit for conflict affected areas in Plateau and Kaduna States; for the Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CiHP), Educational Support for Orphans & Children and Skills Acquisition for Women Living with HIV/AIDS. She was also a beneficiary of the World Bank HIV/AIDS assisted project in collaboration with the Kaduna State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS. These projects have a direct impact on the society and these are the core functions of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Personal life

Hajiya Hafsat Baba is happily married and blessed with five children. Hajiya Hafsat Baba’s passion for HIV/AIDS advocacy, care for Orphans and Widows, Women and Children development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Family Health, Malaria and Rural Development which she said has motivated her in her activities in the past and will ease her carrying out the functions attached to her portfolio.

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