Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey – Profile

Honourable Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana since January 2017. Her extensive experience in diplomacy dates back to the second term of the erstwhile administration of President John Agyekum Kufuor from 2005-2009 during which she served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (2008-2009 & 2006-2007), after stints as Deputy Minister for Information, and Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.

Her tenure as Foreign Minister has been characterized by several notable achievements. She oversaw an extensive transformation in both human resource development and conditions of service for Foreign Service Officers, in addition to the establishment of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). She has streamlined and improved 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 His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

As Foreign Minister, she also chaired the Council of Ministers of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for two successive terms, 2020-2022. She played an integral part in the negotiations towards the transitions to democracy in the region. Under her leadership, the Council advised the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on:

  • the response to the security situation in the Sahel and the West Africa region, including four military takeovers;
  • the review of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance;
  • the reform of the ECOWAS Commission; including ECOWAS budget reforms to ensure efficiency and more funding for Community Programmes.

As an opposition member of Parliament from 2009 to 2013, Hon. Botchwey served as the spokesperson on Foreign Affairs.

She also served on the following Committees in Parliament:

  • Select Committee on Foreign Affairs;
  • Appointments Committee;
  • Defence and Interior Committee;
  • Communications Committee;
  • Gender and Children Committee.

Hon. Botchwey was a member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2013 to 2017. She contributed in shaping the parliament’s work by advising the Community and its institutions and organs particularly on issues relating to fundamental human rights and freedoms. She was Vice-Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Committees of the ECOWAS Parliament.

As a four-term legislator, Hon. Botchwey represented the most populous constituency in the country, Weija, in the Greater Accra Region for two terms (2005-2013) until it was redemarcated. She subsequently represented the Anyaa/Sowutuom constituency for two terms (2013-2021).

Before entering frontline politics, Hon. 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.

The academic and professional qualifications of the Hon. Minister include:

  • Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana
  • Barrister at Law (BL), Qualifying Certificate in Law (QCL), Ghana School of Law, Accra, Ghana
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (LPC), The University of Law, London, United Kingdom
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB), University of London, United Kingdom
  • Executive MBA, (Project Management Option), University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana
  • MA Public Communications & Public Relations, University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom
  • Diploma in Public Relations & Advertising, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Ghana
  • Diploma in Secretarial & Management Studies, Pitman Central College, London, United Kingdom
  • Certificate in Marketing Management, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, (GIMPA) Ghana.

Hon. 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.

Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is a mother of two.