In a significant diplomatic move, Grenada has officially endorsed Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, as the preferred candidate for the upcoming Commonwealth Secretary-General elections in October.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell publicly declared Grenada’s backing for Minister Botchwey during a joint parliamentary sitting last Tuesday, coinciding with the country’s 50th Anniversary of political Independence celebrations.
“I will be publicly indicating that we have pledged to the President of Ghana that we will be supporting the distinguished nomination of the Foreign Minister of Ghana to lead the Commonwealth when that time arises,” said PM Dickon Mitchell.
Minister Botchwey was a member of the delegation of the Ghanaian to Grenada as Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell’s guest of honour on the occasion of the country’s Golden Jubilee milestone.
She launched her candidacy earlier this month, emphasising her vision for fostering free-trade agreements among the Commonwealth’s 56 member nations.
There have been no other contenders emerging thus far to replace the incumbent Secretary-General, Dominican Baroness Patricia Scotland in the elections scheduled for October 22.
President Akufo-Addo’s visit underscored the strengthened diplomatic relations between Grenada and Ghana.
He is the third African leader to visit the island, and has made history as the first to address the Grenada Parliament.
In his address, President Akufo-Addo highlighted the “matchless” contributions of people of African descent to the development of the Western Hemisphere, including Grenada and other Caribbean islands, underscoring notable inventions by black individuals, such as Voice Over IP, Close Circuit TV, and caller identification on telephones.
He also used the opportunity to express Ghana’s support for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in their fight for reparations, highlighting the devastating effects of the slave trade on the continent and the African diaspora.
“The effects of the slave trade have been devastating to the continent and the African diaspora. The entire period of slavery meant that our progress, economically, culturally, and psychologically was stifled,” he said, adding that “reparations for our people is long overdue.”
President Akufo-Addo praised the high standard of hospitality shown to him and his delegation during their visit to the island on this auspicious occasion and extended an official invitation to Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to visit Ghana.
He humorously mentioned the impending conclusion of his second term as Ghana’s President, encouraging Prime Minister Mitchell to visit before his tenure ends.
“I look forward to returning this hospitality in Accra, and he better hurry up and come because I am in the last year of my 2-term tenure of eight (8) years as Ghana’s president,” he told the joint sitting.