Published Date: June 10, 2022

The Board of Directors authorised the launch of a recruitment procedure for a new CEO, subsequent to the dismissal, with immediate effect, of the Deputy Director General (DGA) of OAPI, Mr Jean-Baptiste Noël Wago on 13 May 2022.

This is unfortunately a further difficulty with top management as the CEO, Ivorian Denis Bohoussou Loukou, was suspended 14 October 2021 by the president of the Board of Directors, the Beninese Alimatou Shadiya Assouman.  There were allegations of financial embezzlement.

Mr Jean-Baptiste Noël Wago was appointed as the interim CEO, but the takeover was not incident free.  Allegations of apparent power struggles between the suspended Mr. Loukou and Mr. Wago clouded the appointment in office.

The press release issued by the board of Directors did not mention the reasons for the dismissal.

The current DG now has the responsibility to recruit a consultant to conduct a study on OAPI reforms, which report must be submitted to the Management Board at its session on 24 June 2022.

The positive message is that the apparent crisis will not affect the efficiency of our local office in the expediting of our intellectual property matters in the territory.  Rest assured that we are monitoring the situation and will ensure that our activities are, as far as possible, not disrupted by the apparent political turmoil.