Madam la Directrice-Generale: the first woman to head up the World Trade Organization

Audio 27:02
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the new chief of the World Trade Organizaiton. There’s “On This Day”, listener news, The Sound Kitchen mailbag, Ollia’s “Happy Moment”, and lots of great music – all that, and the new quiz question too! Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

It’s ePOP time!

RFI Planète Radio is sponsoring a video contest, and we want you to enter!

Planète Radio is an RFI department that gives voices to remote populations around the world. They are looking for 3-minute videos about climate change, the environment, pollution - told by the people it affects. Here’s what Planète Radio says about the competition:

“Environmental deterioration, climate change, pollution, everybody's talking about it. But amid articles, figures and expert reports, what do we really know about the feelings of the people already impacted? The video clips produced by the ePOP community in more than 50 countries allow us to hear from those who never ask for anything, yet have seen it all. Those who are already living with these changes that are deteriorating their quality of life.”

Your project should be intergenerational: get together with your grandfather, your aunt, someone older in your community and ask them how they feel about what is happening where they live, maybe in the place where they grew up. How do you feel about it? Tell us what you think, too.

For competition guidelines and more information about the different categories you can enter, click here    

You can also write to us at if you need more help.

We’re very proud that the winner in the ePOP 2020 RFI Club category went to an English language club – Adita Prithika’s RFI Agnichiragu Phoenix Club in Tami Nadu, India. Here’s Adita’s award-winning video.

She won a trip to Paris to attend an ePOP workshop (as soon as we have Covid-19 under control!) and five ePOP turning kits (tripod, lavalier microphone, USB key, report bag, t-shirt). 

Please note that you do not have to be a member of an RFI English Club to enter. Everyone is welcome!

The deadline for entries is 4 April, so time to get creative!

During the French lockdown to fight the Coronavirus last spring, we were constrained to stop broadcasting Paris Live, our afternoon news broadcast.

In the meanwhile, we are focusing on our digital presence, and making our website the best! You can read breaking news articles on our site, as well as in-depth analysis of current affairs, both in France and across the globe.

We are also developing new and exciting podcasts for you. There’s Paris PerspectiveAfrica Calling, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present at the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

Send me your music requests! I’ll make programmes of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

To listen to our features from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose Listen to RFI / Podcasts, and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our features from your mobile phone, slide through the tabs just under the lead article (the first tab is “Headline News”) until you see “Podcasts”, and choose your show. 

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members! There’s returning member Warie Porbeni, founder and principal coordinator of the Radio Zeater Club, from Barcelona, Spain. Our other new member is a member of the Radio Zeater Club – Ibironke Abosede Oyewole from Lagos, Nigeria.

So glad you have joined us Warie and Ibironke!

This week’s quiz: On 20 February, I asked you a question about the new chief of the World Trade Organization, who is the very first woman to hold the chair: you were to send me her name, her nationality, and her professional profile.

The answer is: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; she is from Nigeria. As a reminder, the World Trade Organization has 164 member nations and deals with the rules of trade between nations, based on negotiated agreements.  Okonjo-Iweala is not only the first woman to lead the WTO, she’s the first African, too.

 An economist by training, Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria's finance minister from 2003 to 2006, and again from 2011 through 2015. She also served, briefly, as her country’s foreign minister. But she served the longest at the World Bank – 25 years! - as an advocate for economic growth and development in poorer countries. She was the managing director, which is the number two position in the organization: she oversaw 81 billion USD in development financing for Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala officially took up her new post on 1 March.

The winners are: Priyanka Paul, the president of the RFI Women’s Club in Murshidabad, India, and four winners from Nigeria, all RFI Listeners Club members: Muhammad Nasyr from Katsina State; Ibironke Abosede Oyewole from Lagos; Jimmy Johnson, also from Lagos, and Victor Okeke, in Reinbek, Germany.  Jimmy, Ibironke, and Victor are all members of the Radio Zeater Club. 

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Dialog” by Shina Shaari, performed by Masoud Shaari, Sina Shaari, and Pejma Hadadi; “For the Love of Money” by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Anthony Jackson, performed by The O’Jays; The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Flight of the Foo Birds” by Neal Hefti, performed by Count Basie and the Count Basie Orchestra; Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and “Happy Viche” by Jose Aguirre, performed by Grupo Niche.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 12 April to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 17 April podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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