Botswana’s icon Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba has lost in her bid to win the Commonwealth Secretary-General position to Baroness Patricia Scotland of Antiguan and Dominica. The new secretary General designate was voted in at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on Friday. She is the first female Secretary General in the history of commonwealth.
Scotland expressed her pride at being selected as the first-ever female SG of the Commonwealth in the same year that the Commonwealth Women's Forum was inaugurated. Masire-Mwamba was one of the first candidates to express her intentions to stand for the Commonwealth top office, attracting endorsements from among others Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
Though stakes were high, and naturally so for a position of that stature, Masire-Mwamba proved to be many critics’ favourite with majority, citing her experience as the Deputy Secretary General at Commonwealth Secretariat as an added advantage for her. Masire-Mwamba served two terms as deputy secretary-general of the Commonwealth from 2008-2014 and was responsible for the oversight of the political, human rights, legal and youth portfolio of the secretariat’s work.
In a recent interview with this publication, Masire-Mwamba was of the view that she is ready to be the Commonwealth Secretary General. She had also among others declared that as an African she had planned to strive for the betterment of the African continent by championing its success stories and addressing the challenges.
Baroness Scotland also pipped Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua's ambassador to Washington. Scotland, has dual British and Dominican citizenship, was the attorney-general for England and Wales under the previous Labour government. She takes over from Kamalesh Sharma, who has served eight years in the role. Masire-mwamba lost by only two votes.