Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for the prestigious position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

The President formally nominated the Foreign Affairs Minister as Ghana’s candidate for the role, aligning with the Commonwealth members’ consensus that the next Secretary-General should come from Africa.

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.

The elected to Secretary-General will replace Baroness Patricia Scotland, a dual Dominican-British citizen, whose second and final tenure expires at the end of 2024.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announcing the nomination expressed President Akufo-Addo’s unwavering support for Ayorkor Botchwey.

“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,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The nomination underscores Ghana’s commitment to fostering community cooperation and action, a vision shared at the 26th CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda.

The African Union has endorsed Ayorkor Botchwey, signifying widespread approval of her candidacy across the continent and beyond.

Her extensive background as a lawyer, diplomat, politician, and communications professional, coupled with her in-depth experience in international relations, diplomacy, and public service, positions her as a formidable contender for the position.

During her seven-year tenure as Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Ayorkor Botchwey has significantly contributed to the country’s diplomatic relations, including a momentous two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, which concluded in December 2023.

Her leadership in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers further exemplifies her capability to steer complex international negotiations and foster regional cooperation.

As the Commonwealth, under the headship of King Charles III, aims to promote democratic governance, trade, education, and climate advocacy among its 56 member states, Ayorkor Botchwey’s diverse experience and vision for a resilient and thriving Commonwealth align with the organization’s goals.

With her rich background in international relations and her proven track record in both regional and global diplomacy, the Foreign Minister’s candidacy represents a significant step forward for Ghana and the broader Commonwealth community in their shared journey towards sustainable development and inclusive growth.