“Grateful and thankful,” were her initial choice of words when she announced her call to the Bar on Friday, October 20, 2023, via a post on Twitter (now X).
Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has granted a longer interview in which she speaks about the hustle and sacrifices that went into successfully completing the law programme.
She told the state-run Daily Graphic that she had been a lawyer at heart for decades back but her academic journey took a different trajectory.
She is happy, however, that eventually, she had connected with her lost love at the age of 60.
“I can’t find words to describe it, it was not an easy one, it was a tough one especially combining it with the work that I do and the travels. But by the grace of God, I’m through and I am now a lawyer,” she said.
Despite the tough nature of her journey, she insists that the sacrifices had paid off.
“I’m really grateful to God for what He has done,” she stressed before thanking the Law School for the diligence that meant herself and graduating colleagues were “well rounded lawyers.”
“I always wanted to be a lawyer but somehow my path went a different way, I did Marketing, Communications, I did an MBA and all of that, in the final analysis I went back to my first love which is law.
“So, probably I am 35 years later for deferring it,” she said stressing how her time in Parliament and president working for president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo served as huge motivation for her pursuit of law.
“When it comes to learning, there is no end, you are not too old to learn. I am proud that I am a lawyer at 60 and I am very proud of myself that I have been able to do it at 60,” she said when asked to advice the upcoming youth.
This Ghana School of Law called 1,092 newly qualified lawyers to the bar, in a ceremony held on Friday, October 20, 2023, at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Among dignitaries present were the Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo, members of the diplomatic corps, and both family and acquaintances of the newly sworn-in barristers.
A publicly available profile of the minister shows that Ms. Botchwey, born on February 8, 1963, was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 10, 2017.
Prior to this, she served as a Member of Parliament for Anyaa-Sowutuom from 2013 to 2021, and held positions as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works, and Housing during John Kufuor’s administration.