First day on the job for WTO’s Okonjo-Iweala, who’s no fish out of water

Over-fishing and vaccine rollouts are top priorities for first female and first African leader of the organisation

01 March 2021 - 20:39 By Emma Farge

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) first female and first African director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, began work on Monday, ending a six-month leadership void by vowing to unblock negotiations on rules to stop over-fishing.

After a long campaign that was derailed in the latter stages by a Donald Trump administration veto, the 66-year-old Nigerian was confirmed as boss last month, pledging to “forget business as usual” at the body, which is struggling to strike new deals and whose arbitration functions are paralysed...

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