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Following her nomination by President Akufo-Addo for the candidacy of the Commonwealth Secretary-General position, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has commenced stakeholder engagements to lobby for the post.

On February 2, she met members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs at her office to court their support.

This is contained in a post she shared on X.

“Today I met the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs to formally inform them of my nomination by H.E the President as Ghana’s candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, at the elections to be held at the 27th CHOGM in Samoa in October 2024,” the post read.

“I am grateful for the unanimous pledge of support by members of the Committee for my candidature,” she added.

Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announced that Mrs  Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has formally expressed interest in the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

This was contained in a press release dated February 2.

“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 Hon. Botchwey as Ghana’s candidate. A new Secretary-General of the 56-member organisation will be elected on 22nd October, 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 2024,” the press release said.

According to the release, while nominating her, 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 Meeting (CHOGM).”

President Akufo-Addo and  Ayorkor Botchwey.

Mrs Botchwey has been endorsed by the African Union, and also enjoys considerable support across all regions of the Commonwealth. Mrs Botchwey 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 III. It promotes, among other objectives, democratic governance among member-states, and cooperation in trade, education, climate advocacy and transparency in financial systems.

The Minister 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 previously served as Deputy Foreign Minister from 2006 to 2009, and Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, and Communications prior to that. A four-term legislator from 2004 through 2020, Hon. 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.