Accra, Feb 3, GNA – Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana since 10th January 2017.
As Foreign Minister, she has led the Council of Ministers of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for two successive terms since July 2020 to the present. Under her leadership, the Council has advised the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on the response to the security situation in the Sahel, including four military takeovers, one attempted coup and a failed coup; the review of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Governance; the reform of the ECOWAS Commission; and ECOWAS budget reforms to ensure efficiency and more funding for Community Programmes.
In that role, she has led the process of negotiations towards transitions to democracy with the military regimes that have seized power in the ECOWAS region since 2020, including as leader of the ECOWAS delegations to Guinea and Burkina Faso, and as a member of the ECOWAS Mediation Mission to Mali.
Madam Botchwey has extensive experience in diplomacy having served as a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the last term of President John Agyekum Kufuor, from 2006-2007 and 2008-2009. She oversaw an extensive transformation in both human resource development and conditions of service for Foreign Service Officers while streamlining and improving consular and passport services both at home and at Ghana’s missions abroad, introducing digitization and enhanced online services.
Ghana’s foreign policy successes under her leadership include the high visibility and positive image Ghana enjoys under the Presidency of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. She led Ghana’s successful campaign for membership of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2022-2023. Foreign Minister Botchwey is a member of Ghana’s National Security Council.
Madam Botchwey previously served as Deputy Minister for Information (2005-2006), and subsequently as the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry (2007-2008) in the first term of President Kufuor from 2000-2004. Madam Botchwey was her party’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs between the year 2009 and 2013, while in opposition. During the same period, she was Ranking Member for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and subsequently, the Appointments, Defence and Interior Committees of Parliament.
A member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2013 – 2017, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey worked with her colleagues to assist the Community Parliament in its advisory role in considering matters concerning the region, particularly on issues relating to fundamental human rights and freedom, while making recommendations to institutions and organs of ECOWAS. The Hon Minister also served as Vice-Chair on the NEPAD & APRM Committees.
In the immediate past Parliament (2017 – 2021), she sat on the Communication as well as the Gender and Children Committees of Parliament, where she worked with colleague members on matters relating to communications generally as well as examining all issues related to gender and children to ensure their inclusion in all appropriate legislation.
As a four-term legislator, Madam Botchwey represented the most populous constituency in the country, Weija, in the Greater Accra Region for two terms until it was redemarcated. She subsequently represented the Anyaa/Sowutuom constituency for two terms.
Before entering frontline politics, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey ran a successful Marketing and Communications Company and served as a consultant for the Ministry of Tourism. She worked in various capacities with organizations such as Worldspace Ghana, the Divestiture Implementation Committee, Glaxo Group Research and Hodge Recruitment.
Madam Minister Botchwey holds an Executive MBA, (Project Management option), MA in Public Communication, Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB), a Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising as well as a certificate in Marketing Management from the following institutions respectively: the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) as well as the Pitman’s Central College and the Universities of London and Westminster in the United Kingdom (UK).
Madam Botchwey is a member of the Ghana National Association of Alternative Dispute (ADR) Practitioners. She has participated in numerous capacity-building programmes on leadership, marketing, driving government performance and parliament and the rule of law, including at the Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies, Harvard Kennedy School, Casa Africa, Parliament of Spain, The African Leadership Initiative/The Aspen Institute, and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is a mother of two.