Prof Hadiza Shehu Galadanci-The importance of mentorship to develop future female leaders

Prof Hadiza Shehu Galadanci-The importance of mentorship to develop future female leaders

Prof. Hadiza Shehu Galadanci is the center leader for the Africa Center of Excellence for Population Health and Policy (ACE PHAP), hosted in Bayero University Kano, Nigeria.  As one of the two female Centre leaders under the ACE Impact project, the AAU communications teams engaged her to hear her story and to highlight key leadership lessons and qualities for success, in a bid to inspire the next generation of female leaders.


Education and Background

Prof. Galadanci obtained her medical degree (MBBS) in 1987 at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Nigeria. With an impressive academic track record, she was awarded the Fellowship of West African College in 1998 from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. She then obtained an MSc degree in reproductive health and sexual health research (MSc RHSHR) from the University College London, UK and a Diploma from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSTM&H), UK.   She has been a member of the Royal College of Surgeon (MRCOG) since 2002 and a Fellow of the Royal College (FRCOG) since 2014. In addition, she obtained a Project Management Diploma from Galilee International Management Institute, Israel, in 2018. 


Prof. Galadanci’s Leadership Journey

From 2002-2006, She was the Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the Faculty    of Medicine, Bayero University Kano.  She also served as the President of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Kano State Branch in the years 2002-2008. Having excelled in the various leadership capacities she had occupied, Prof. Galandanci continued to be noticed, and be appointed to serve in numerous high level positions, including serving as the Director for the Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Bayero University Kano (BUK), the Coordinator of Masters in Reproductive Health Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Bayero University Kano,  and the Vice-Chairperson for the National Reproductive Working Group (NRWG), 2008- 2014.  She has been the Director/Center Leader for the African Center of Excellence for Population Health and Policy, BUK, since 2019.


Key Achievements and Awards Received

Prof. Galadanci made history as the first female professor in medicine in her institution and in her state (Kano State, Nigeria). In recognition of Professor Hadiza Shehu Galadanci’s outstanding efforts and contributions to the medical and health sector, she received the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Women Award in 2018, at the FIGO World Congress, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.   

She has also received many awards and honors , including ; the Distinguished Merit Award in recognition of her contribution to strengthening maternal health in Nigeria, (July, 2005); Merit Award presented by FEDWA in recognition of her immense contribution to Women’s Development and Capacity Building, (2008); REAGEM Award for her Outstanding Capacity Building in Health and Disease, (2009); and Paul Harrison’s Fellow Award presented by Rotary International in appreciation of her significant assistance in promoting a better understanding and friendly relationship amongst people of the world, (2009). 

Additionally,  Professor Hadiza received a KAMSA Merit Award from the Kano State Medical Students Association in recognition of her immense contribution to the Development and Progress of Medical Students in Kano State, (2010); Red Ribbon Award for Dedication and Outstanding Commitment to Combat HIV/AIDS in Nigeria presented by Masterpiece Health and Development, (2010); Kano State Government Merit Award in recognition of her outstanding achievement/contributions to the Government and people of Kano State, (1st October, 2010); and Kano State Certificate of Honor in recognition of the immense contributions of Professor Hadiza Shehu Galadanci to Kano State. 


Excelling as a Woman

“Being a leader requires a number of skills including being hard working, innovative, a good team player and having good management skill.  However, for a female to be successful as a leader she must work twice as hard as her male counterpart and still find a good balance as a wife, mother, and career woman”, she said.  

Hadiza talks about the importance a good family support system plays and expressed gratitude to her parents, spouse, and children. “I could not have been where I am without the unrelenting support, assistance, and encouragement from my parents and my husband, as well as the sacrifice of my children”.  

She emphasizes the key role mentorship plays and encourages all females in leadership positions to purposefully mentor younger colleagues, and give them all the support, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration, they require to achieve their full potentials. “My first Mentor was my father, whom I always look up to and wanted to become like him, a Professor and I thank God that I was able to achieve that. I have also had my teachers as my mentors along the way. Along my journey I   received guidance, support, assistance and inspiration from my mentors. These have been very key to my success and have contributed greatly to what I am today. Therefore, I think mentorship is very essential to guide, support, encourage, assist, and inspire the younger colleagues to be able to achieve their full potentials. The younger female colleagues really look up to the females in leadership positions to mentor them.”