Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey To Be The Next Commonwealth Secretary-General?

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has been nominated by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to contest the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

The Foreign Affairs Minister expressed her interest for the position based on an understanding among members of the Commonwealth that its next Secretary-General would come from Africa.

A statement issued by the ministry, stated that a new Secretary-General of the 56-member organisation would be elected on October 22, 2024 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa to replace Baroness Patricia Scotland, a dual Dominican-British citizen, whose second and final tenure expires at the end of the year.

In a letter nominating Ms Botchwey, President Akufo-Addo stated,

“I have strong confidence in Foreign Minister Botchwey to lead our aspiration for renewal and for building future-looking resilient and thriving economies, through community cooperation and action, as underscored at Kigali, Rwanda, during the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Mecting (CHOGM).”

The statement said Ms Botchwey’s candidature had been embraced by the African Union and also enjoys considerable support across all regions of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth is a diverse intergovernmental association headed by King Charles III.

It promotes, among other objectives, democratic governance among member-states and cooperation in trade, education, climate advocacy and transparency in financial systems.

Ms Botchwey has extensive experience in international relations, diplomacy and public service.

She has filled in as Ghana’s Foreign Minister for the past seven years, during which she steered Ghana’s momentous two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, finishing off in December last year.

She also chaired the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers for two successive terms from 2020 to 2022.

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Ms Botchwey is a member of the National Security Council.

Beforehand, she served as a Deputy Foreign Minister from 2006 to 2009, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, and Communications prior to that.

A four-term legislator from 2004 to 2020, Ms Botchwey served on several parliamentary select committees, including Foreign Affairs, as well as Appointments, Defence and Interior, Communications, and Gender and Children.

She was also a member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2013 to 2017 during which she was the Vice-Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Committees.

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