28 year-old Lieutenant Ouma Laouali has broken Niger’s military glass ceiling with the historic news that she has become the first female pilot to serve in Niger’s Armed Forces.
Lt. Laouali received her pilot training in the United States and she “will be flying the Cessna aircraft two of which were handed over by the US to Niger in a ceremony in the capital Niamey,” recently, the BBC reported.
The historic development is proof that women in Africa are pushing boundaries and scaling barriers. Lt Laouali is a beneficiary of a U.S. training programme to help fight the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, wreaking havoc in parts of West Africa.
The training programme and the aircraft that Niger received from the U.S. “were part of a security co-operation deal worth $24m (£16m),” the BBC reported.
The aircraft that Lt Laouali will be flying, the Cessna 208 Caravan intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is a “combat caravan”, which can be used for various military operations.