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Ghana Foreign Minister Bids To Be Next Commonwealth Chief

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s minister for foreign affairs, has launched a quest to become the next Commonwealth secretary-general, stating that she wants to see a free-trade agreement among the 56 member countries.

“A successful free trade agreement among Commonwealth member states would allow these states to reap the benefits of enhanced integration and participation in global and regional supply chains, as well as boost their participation in the multilateral trading system,” Botchwey said in Accra on Friday, after announcing her candidacy for the top position.

The United Kingdom and other former colonies form a voluntary alliance of independent states. It advocates democratic governance, international trade cooperation, education, climate activism, and financial system transparency. The secretary-general, appointed by King Charles III, is in charge of the secretariat in London.

According to convention, the secretary-general position is rotated among the organization’s four geographical blocs: the Pacific, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Now it’s Africa’s turn.

According to Ghana’s foreign ministry, Botchwey has the support of the continent’s African Union bloc and “enjoys considerable support across all regions of the Commonwealth”.

So yet, no additional candidates have emerged for the top position ahead of the October 22 election.

A Commonwealth Secretary-General may serve a maximum of two terms of four years each. The current incumbent is Dominican Baroness Patricia Scotland, whose term ends in October.

President Nana Akufo-Addo nominated the Ghanaian for the position, saying he has “strong confidence in Foreign Minister Botchwey to lead our aspirations for renewal and for building future-looking resilient and thriving economies, through community cooperation and action.”

She has been Ghana’s foreign minister for seven years and led the country’s two-year stay on the UN Security Council, which ends in December 2023. She was previously a politician.

Written by PH

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