AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION

Aubierge Olivia HUNGBO KPLOCA

Aubierge Olivia HUNGBO KPLOCA

2016 – Present: President of the Court of First Instance of Allada

2016 – Present: Elected to sit on the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM)

2017 – Present: President of the International Association of Women Judges of Benin (AIFJ-B)

My Story, Your Inspiration

Let me tell you that this journey as a magistrate could have been quite different. I always wanted to be a lawyer. After many sleepless nights studying, I successfully passed the written bar exam known as “Concours d'Aptitude à la Profession d'Avocat”. I was the only woman who passed, but during the oral session of the exam, I failed by almost half a point – and the profession of "lawyer" was denied to me. It was a big blow, a big disappointment. More than two years later, I decided to listen to the advice of those around me who thought I could be a good magistrate. I applied for the recruitment of magistrates launched by the State, and I was admitted which was the starting point of a very beautiful adventure. I realized over time that the judiciary was my vocation, and the profession that was destined for me. Since then, I have fully invested myself in doing my job well, with passion and joy. What gave me the value of making this professional career of which I am very proud today. I was appointed in 2019, during an international symposium of women judges which took place in the Vatican, to be a member of the Pan-African Commission to Combat Human Trafficking with six (6) other African countries, namely South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Morocco, Uganda, and Kenya. It is an initiative of Pope Francis. Then I won the prize for the best impact and exceptional woman in the justice sector. Afterward, I received the Golden Key to success, development, and peace in my country. In March 2022, I received the distinction of recognition and merit: “Prix Femmes leaders” awarded by the NGO Etoile d' Afrique. Beyond my professional duties, I am an activist for women's and children's rights. A commitment that I express through the activities that we initiate within the International Association of Women Judges of Benin and through my voluntary involvement in other associations. I am also a speaker and communicator on female leadership.

Life is not a linear road: it is important to be flexible, be open to opportunities, listen to life, and understand what God expects from us. You should never be discouraged. Failures are a challenge that allow us to better orient ourselves and grow. I find that the profession of a judge is of divine essence and must be exercised with faith. I believe in the abilities of women and I wish there were more women magistrates. We will always encounter difficulties. I have also encountered them often throughout my career. But for me, these are challenges that I face with faith and I always come out of them stronger. Courage, determination, and resilience are the keys to overcoming the trials of life.