Ghana announces candidature of Ayorkor Botchwey for Secretary-General of Commonwealth

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

Ghana on Friday, February 2, announced the candidature of Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for the post of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to succeed the current Secretary-General, Madam Baroness Patricia Scotland, a dual Dominican-British citizen.

Her candidature which was announced by the Ministry in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the Ministry was pleased to announce that Madam Ayorkor Botchwey formally expressed interest in the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

It said based on an understanding among members of the Commonwealth that its next Secretary-General would come from Africa, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo nominated Madam Botchwey as Ghana’s candidate.

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

Nominating Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said: “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 Meeting (CHOGM).”

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey has been endorsed by the African Union and enjoys considerable support across all regions of the Commonwealth and is a lawyer, diplomat, politician, and communications professional, with extensive experience in international relations and diplomacy, and public service.

She is also a member of the National Security Council.

The Commonwealth is a diverse intergovernmental association headed by King Charles II, and promotes, among other objectives, democratic governance among member-states, and cooperation in trade, education, climate advocacy and transparency in financial systems.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey has served 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, ending in December 2023.

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

She served as Deputy Foreign Minister from 2006 to 2009 and Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and Communications before that.

A four-term legislator from 2004 through 2020, Madam Ayorkor 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 and was Vice-Chair on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Committees.

Source: GNA

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