Aspiring Commonwealth Secretary General Ayorkor Botchwey Calls on President of Malawi

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on the President of Malawi, His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera, in Lilongwe, Malawi on Monday, 12th February, 2024. The delegation was warmly received by President Chakwera, and the Malawian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Nancy Tembo.
The purpose of the Honourable Minister’s visit to Malawi, among other objectives, was to bolster and fortify the already cordial relations between Ghana and Malawi. This includes exploring avenues to foster greater collaboration and understanding across various sectors for mutual benefit of the two countries. Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey used the occasion to deliver a special message from the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to President Lazarus Chakwera.

Reflecting on the deep historical ties between Ghana and Malawi, dating back to the days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Kamuzu Banda, and their shared vision for an independent Africa, the Honourable Minister seized the opportunity to officially seek Malawi’s support for her candidature to the post of the next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, at elections to be held in October 2024, during the 27th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa. She highlighted the consensus among Member States that confirmed that it was Africa’s turn to nominate a candidate, a matter deliberated during the 26th CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda.

In addressing the Commonwealth’s role in serving the interests of all its members, Honourable Ayorkor Botchwey outlined her key priority areas. These include Trade and Investment, Youth, Education, Skills, Innovation and Startups, Mobility and Labour Markets, Climate Change, Small States Island States, and Managing Resources for an Effective Commonwealth Institution.
President Lazarus Chakwera reaffirmed his commitment to carefully consider the candidature of the Honourable Minister, acknowledging the strong historical bonds between Ghana and Malawi. He recalled his visit to Ghana in June 2023 and noted that it had further strengthened the relations between the two countries. He encouraged the solidification of Ghana-Malawi relations through various areas of cooperation for mutual benefit, citing the recent visa waiver regime by Malawi, which includes Ghana.
Hon Shirley Ayokor Botchwey commended the President for Malawi’s initiative to implement the visa waiver regime stating that it serves as a tangible demonstration of goodwill and cooperation between Ghana and Malawi and would help in strengthening diplomatic relations between the two nations. She assured President Lazarus Chakwera of Ghana’s willingness to implement a visa waiver regime with Malawi.

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