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Ayorkor Botchwey takes Commonwealth secretary general bid to Malaysia

For several months, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has been engaging tirelessly for this role, to enable her to deliver what she calls “a new Commonwealth”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has taken her ongoing bid for the position of Commonwealth secretary general to south-east Asia and the country of Malaysia in her quest to garner support from leaders and representatives of Commonwealth member states as she intensifies her campaign for the role.

For several months, Ayorkor Botchwey has been engaging tirelessly for this role to enable her to liver what she calls “a new Commonwealth”. Her candidature not only represents Ghana’s aspirations but also the hope of continuing the legacy of female leadership in this vital international organisation.

Currently, she is engaging with her colleagues in Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore, following earlier working visits to India and Bangladesh, where she sought to build strong alliances and gather support for her bid while on international assignments. In each country, she has met with high-ranking officials, diplomats, and influential civil society leaders, articulating her vision for a more united and inclusive Commonwealth.

Her campaign for Commonwealth secretary general is centred on several key themes. Unity and inclusivity are at the forefront of her vision. Ayorkor Botchwey advocates for policies that bridge gaps between member states, regardless of their size or economic status. She envisions a Commonwealth where mutual respect and cooperation are paramount, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued.

Youth empowerment and education are particularly close to her heart. With a significant youth population within the Commonwealth, Ayorkor Botchwey emphasises the need for increased investment in education and skills training. She aims to equip young people with the tools they need to thrive in a globalized world, creating opportunities for them to participate actively in the political and economic spheres of their countries.

One of the key highlights of her journey was her visit to Malaysia, where she met with Malaysia’s foreign affairs minister, Mohamad Hassan. The meeting in Kuala Lumpur focused on strengthening diplomatic ties and fostering mutual co-operation. Discussions centred around enhancing bilateral relations between Ghana and Malaysia, with both ministers expressing a shared commitment to deepening economic, cultural and educational exchange.

Ayorkor Botchwey outlined her vision for the Commonwealth, emphasising the need for unity and inclusivity among member states. She highlighted the importance of policies that bridge gaps between nations, irrespective of their size or economic status.

Her call for a more cohesive and collaborative Commonwealth resonated well with her Malaysian counterpart. Both ministers agreed on the potential for greater economic integration within the Commonwealth, which could be facilitated under Ayorkor Botchwey’s leadership.

Following the official meeting, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey was honoured at a dinner attended by high-ranking officials, diplomats, and members of the business community. This event provided a platform for further engagement and networking.

In her speech at the dinner, Ayorkor Botchwey reiterated her commitment to the values of the Commonwealth. She spoke passionately about the devastating impact of climate change and the need for unity, economic development and the empowerment of the younger generation. She emphasised the importance of making the world a better place for future generations.

Ayorkor Botchwey’s diplomatic outreach in Asia has been extensive and her efforts are expected to bear fruit.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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