Save Sahara Network’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall decision and strategic direction of the non-governmental organisation. The trustees have developed years of experience in academics and community services at local and international levels. The Trustees meet quarterly to evaluate activities, operations and financial performance of the organisation. They also review the organisation’s strategies in meeting its mission of saving of nature and empowerment of people at the grassroots. The Trustees are a vital part the management structure, and are to undergo training that will further improve their managerial experience.
FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF TRUSTEES
Dr. Fola BABALOLA
Dr. Fola Babalola is currently an Associate Professor of Forest Socio-economics at the Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He graduated with PhD (Forest Economics) from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Prior to this, he obtained his BSc (Forest Resources Mgt) and MSc (Forest Economics and Mgt) from the same University. He served as Head of Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ilorin, Nigeria (2016 – 2018), and was a recipient of Vice-Chancellor postdoctoral fellowship and Extraordinary Lecturer at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (2012 – 2015). He is also a rated researcher by National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa.
Dr. Babalola specializes in forest socio-economics. Specifically, his research focus on interdependence of forest and people, as well as contributions of forests and forest products to livelihoods of people at grassroots. He has partaken in team research in countries such as Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and Uganda. He has graduated doctoral students within and outside Nigeria. His research works have been recognised with various research grants, fellowships and sponsorship. He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles in books, journals and conference proceedings.
Dr. Babalola is passionate about mentorship and developing capacity for youths and upcoming professionals. He has mentored many students and young professionals at national and international levels toward development of their business careers and getting academic scholarships. He has delivered various motivation and inspiration lectures on career development, as well as seeking academic and research funding opportunities.
He established and served as President of both the Nigeria Tropical Biology Association (NTBA) Alumni Group, and Nigeria Chapter of Society for Conservation Biology (NSCB). Under his leadership of the two groups for more than a decade, he led implementation of a number of conferences, expedition and capacity building workshops. His determination to contribute to practical development of rural livelihoods, local empowerment and expand his community service as academic at the grassroots led to establishment of Save Sahara Network (SSN).
Prof. Bola Olusola ADELEKE
Prof. Bola Olusola Adeleke is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Transport and Tourism Studies, Redeemer’s University, Ede since 2005. She holds her Masters and Doctoral degrees in ecotourism and wildlife management from University of Ibadan. She is presently the Head of the Department. She was a postdoctoral fellow to the Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, South Africa (2012). She currently serves in the executive of Nigeria Chapter of Society for Conservation Biology as the Assistant Secretary. She is a Research Fellow and member of the Society for Conservation Biology, USA and also a member of Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN). She also had quite a number of administrative positions in her University which include heading the Hospitality and Tourism Unit of the University.
Prof. Adeleke’s main research interest is in providing sustainable tourism in protected areas through economic empowerment of surrounding local residents, biodiversity conservation and environmental protection. She had conducted research in several protected areas across Africa which include Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, South Africa (2002, 2012) and Yankari Game Reserve (2000-2004). She has collaborated actively with researchers in areas of protected areas’ ecological management and destination competitiveness through sustainable tourism. For more than a decade now, she has been deeply involved in mentoring and training students in the area of sustainable tourism through trips to major eco-destinations in West African countries such as Gambia, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Nigeria. Through her dedication and commitment to building the department of Transport and Tourism Studies, Redeemer’s University, Ede she received the Vice Chancellor’s Meritorious Award in 2015.
Prof. Adeleke is a Christian serving humanity through discipleship of youths and young couples. She is actively involved in rural community residents’ economic empowerment and evangelism through the mission arm of her church. She is blessed with children and grand-children.
Prof. Opeyemi E. AYINDE
Prof. Ayinde, Opeyemi E. is an Agricultural Economist by training. She obtained her PhD in Agricultural Economics in 2008 from University of Ilorin, Nigeria where she is currently a Professor. She is a Fulbright Fellow of United States of America, and a Senior Research Associate Fellow of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARCHI) at Tshwane University of Technology. Her current research focus is economics of innovation in agricultural productivity. Specifically, she is exploring themes such as agricultural producers’ behaviour to risk, climate risk to agricultural innovation, diffusion of new technology, agricultural management strategies, climate change on agricultural production; gender issues in agricultural production, among others.
Prof. Ayinde is a member of professional bodies such GLOBELICS; African Association of Agricultural Economics; International Association of Agricultural Economics and Risk Analysis Society. She has won several research grant, prizes and scholarships. Most of the research findings she singly and jointly conducted have been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences. She has also supervised several masters and doctoral students.
In providing service to community, she founded several rural women association in Kwara State, Nigeria. She served as Treasurer and Welfare Coordinator to Bethel Baptist Mission, Nigeria; Mother to Faith Chapter of Girls Auxiliary; and Matron to Royal Ambassador Association, under Nigeria Baptist Convention. Dr. Ayinde is determined to building capacity for young professionals and render service to humanity at local level, with specially attention to women and youth within the scope of Save Sahara Network (SSN).
Mrs. Oluwakemi A. BABALOLA
Mrs Babalola holds M.Ed. (Adult Education) with Specialization in Organisation and Administration from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Prior to this, she obtained B.Ed. (Communication and Language Arts) from the same University in 2009, and NCE (English / Political Science) from College of Education, Ilorin, Kwara State in 2004.
Mrs Babalola developed interest in teaching and training children and youths. This made her to pick up teaching appointments as full-time class teacher and Acting Head Mistress from 2003 to 2011. Mrs Babalola has attended couple of professional training and workshops some of which were organised by Macmillan Nigeria Publishers, and Africana First Publishers PLC. She has published some findings of her thesis in a peer reviewed scientific journals.
Mrs Babalola has served in various voluntary capacities, especially in faith-based organizations. She was the Leader of Virtuous Women, and Coordinator of Membership and Visitation Unit at Kingdom Proclaimer Baptist Mission, Nigeria (2015 to 2017). Due to her transparency and accountability, she held various Financial and Treasurer positions in circular and faith-based organisations.
Dr. Adedotun Onoyinka AFOLAYAN
Dr. Adedotun Onoyinka AFOLAYAN graduated with PhD (Environmental Biology) from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is currently an Assistant Director (Research) and Head of Tissue Culture Unit, Biotechnology Department, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Nigeria. She is also the Current President of the Nigeria Chapter of Society for Conservation Biology (NSCB). She is a Research Fellow and member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. She is an Alumnus of NUFFIC and Fellow, Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP). She is also the Present Secretary and Member of Nigeria Alumni Association of International Foundation for Science (IFS-NAA). She is a member of Association for Environmental Impact Assessment of Nigeria (AEIAN), Horticultural Society of Nigeria (HORTSON) among others.
Dr. Afolayan has worked with both the academic and research organizations. She has contributed positively to both the intellectual and research resources of the nation. She was Assistant Lecturer at the School of Medical Laboratory, University College Hospital (UCH), Nigeria (2006 – 2008) where she taught the degree students Biology. She was appointed at NACGRAB in 2011 as Scientific Officer 1 where she has contributed positively to the achievement of the given mandates of the Institution.
Dr. Afolayan’s passion for research has led her to different collaborative research studies at National and International level. She has taught, supervised and mentored Degree, Masters and Doctoral students in Nigeria. She has published different scientific articles in international journals. Her research studies cut across monitoring pollution levels and impacts; rapid multiplication of endangered bio-resources for conservation using Tissue Culture Techniques, among others. Presently, she is working with faithful researchers in ensuring that the nation’s immense natural plant resources are conserved through the use of tissue culture techniques. Her passion for biodiversity conservation is what led her joining the Trustees of Save Sahara Network (SSN).
Dr. Afolayan is a devoted Christian, happily married and blessed. She currently serves humanity as the leader and wife of the Resident Pastor of Pilgrim Miracle Church, Ososami, Ibadan. She also mentored little children in the Junior Church of the same Ministry, coaching them to build a life of honesty, integrity, contentment, excellence and righteousness.