Black History Month: Captain Habiba Nouhou

By: The Hon. Amina Gerba

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Hon. Amina Gerba: Colleagues, as part of Black History Month, I have decided that each week in February I will introduce people of African descent who are helping shape our country.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Habiba Nouhou.

In her mother tongue, Hausa, one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa, an uncle calls his niece, “my daughter”. My husband calls her his daughter, and I do, too.

Perhaps you are wondering why I am using my time in this distinguished place to introduce a completely anonymous, unknown person who is, moreover, a relative of mine. I will simply say that it is because I am proud of her. I am proud of Habiba’s journey. In 1996, my husband and I brought Habiba from Cameroon to give her the opportunity to study in Canada.

She lived with us, first in Montreal North, and then in Laval, while she studied at Polytechnique Montréal for her computer engineering degree and then at the Université de Montréal for a degree in mathematics.

After she graduated, she worked for a few years as a programmer-analyst at Correctional Service Canada, and then as the director of cybersecurity in one of our companies, Geram Communications Inc.

After seeing an ad on television, and with plenty of encouragement from her husband, Ursus Lardé, she decided to apply for the Canadian Armed Forces training program and was accepted in 2019. While in training, she spent time in Saint-Jean, Bagotville and Kingston.

Thanks to her unwavering faith, hard work and perseverance — one of my family’s mottoes — Habiba completed her training in electrical engineering and communications in December 2022. She was promoted to captain and is now seconded as an operations officer for the Canadian Armed Forces’ North Warning System at the DAEPMM in Gatineau.

When asked why she chose to work for the Canadian Armed Forces, she said:

Canada gave me a chance to reach my potential, and I was committed to giving back part of what I received. What could be more amazing than serving in the Canadian Armed Forces?

Esteemed colleagues, please join me in honouring the bravery and determination of my beloved daughter, Habiba Nouhou, and wishing her every success in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

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