In a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, it was officially announced that Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, is a candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo nominated Hon. Botchwey based on an agreement among Commonwealth members that the next Secretary-General would hail from Africa. The election to choose the new Secretary-General of the 56-member organization is scheduled for 22nd October 2024, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa. This follows the conclusion of Baroness Patricia Scotland's second and final tenure at the end of 2024.
President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in Hon. Botchwey's ability to lead the Commonwealth towards renewal and building resilient economies through community cooperation and action, highlighting the commitments made during the 26th CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda.
Endorsed by the African Union and enjoying support across all Commonwealth regions, Hon. Botchwey brings extensive experience in international relations, diplomacy, and public service to her candidacy. A lawyer, diplomat, politician, and communications professional, she currently serves as a member of the National Security Council.
The Commonwealth, led by King Charles III, is an intergovernmental association promoting democratic governance, trade cooperation, education, climate advocacy, and financial transparency among member states.
Hon. Botchwey, who has served as Ghana's Foreign Minister for the past seven years, successfully led the country's two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, concluding in December 2023. Additionally, she chaired the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers for two consecutive terms from 2020 to 2022.
With a parliamentary background spanning from 2004 to 2020, including roles in select committees such as Foreign Affairs, Appointments, Defence and Interior, Communications, and Gender and Children, Hon. Botchwey's extensive legislative and diplomatic experience positions her as a strong contender for the Commonwealth's top leadership role.