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Sir Bob Geldof has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to music and humanitarian causes.

The 54-year-old legend behind Band Aid, Live Aid, Live 8, and a host of other major humanitarian initiatives received the degree at the University of East London yesterday.

A spokesman for the university said Sir Bob was chosen to receive the doctorate because of his “unique success in harnessing the power of popular music to raise funds and awareness of key global issues, and changing the lives of people worldwide”.

Geldof, however, was quick to make light of the ceremony.

“I actually thought you were going to be a bunch of musos, it turns out you’re geeks,” he joked. “I’ve absolutely no idea what you’ve just received your degrees for – empirical studies, expressive external systems engineering – whatever, I thought engineers built bridges.”

Geldof is now is a member of the Africa Progress Panel, an independent authority on Africa derived from a key recommendation of the Commission for Africa – an ongoing study of Africa’s problems.

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