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GRASAG endorses candidature of Ayorkor Botchwey for Secretary-General of Commonwealth

The Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana (GRASAG National) has backed the candidature of Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for the next Secretary-General position of the Commonwealth.

Madam Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, was earlier this year, nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s candidate for the position.

The Election for the new Secretary-General of the 56-member organisation is scheduled to take place on October 22, 2024, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa.

This election aims to replace Baroness Patricia Scotland, a dual Dominican-British citizen, who will conclude her second and final term at the end of 2024.

GRASAG, in a statement jointly signed and issued by Mr Emmanuel Owusu, National President and Mr Gideon Odame Agyiri, International Relations Officer, described Madam Botchwey’s tenure as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana as ‘remarkable’ and one which underscored h
er exceptional leadership and diplomatic acumen.

Her dedication to fostering collaboration among Commonwealth member states, GRASAG said, aligned closely with its values and aspirations.

‘We believe that Hon. Botchwey’s extensive experience and visionary approach make her the most outstanding candidate for the position of Commonwealth Secretary-General,’ it said.

The statement added that: ‘Her leadership will undoubtedly contribute to advancing sustainable development, peace, and prosperity within the Commonwealth and far beyond.’

‘As the leading voice for Ghana’s Graduate Students in Ghana and abroad, GRASAG National stands firmly behind Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey’s candidacy and urges all stakeholders to support her bid for Commonwealth Secretary-General.

‘We know how resilient she is, the world also needs to see and know same,’ it said.

GRASAG commended the Minister for her steadfast support of Ghanaian students in the diaspora, stressing that her advocacy for educational opportunities had been in
valuable in nurturing the academic and professional growth of Ghanaian students abroad as well as international students in Ghana.

The candidate has proposed six areas through which the Commonwealth could be repositioned to transform the economies of its member countries.

They are trade and investment; youth, education, skills, innovation and startups; mobility and labour markets; climate change; small states, and managing resources for an effective Commonwealth institution.

‘Based on a community-wide approach to comprehensive actions in these areas, we can transform the economies of the countries in the Commonwealth, enable inclusive devel¬≠opment and climate resilience, and respond to the expectations of the hundreds of millions across the Commonwealth for the democratic dividend, consistent with an ambitious vision of our Commonwealth values,’ she said at a lecture after the official announcement of her candidacy.

In a letter nominating Ms Botchwey, 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.’

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.

Source: Ghana News Agency