By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The government of Lesotho has nominated the former Minister Joshua Setipa as a candidate to run for the Position of the Secretary General (SG) of the Commonwealth of Nations making him the first Mosotho to be nominated for this coveted position.

These developments unfold as the incumbent Commonwealth’s Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland King’s Counsel (KC)’s tenure in office draws to an end. She assumed this

position in 2016 and her initial term was extended on account of the outbreak of the fatal of the Covid-19 pandemic that had hit the world.

She had served six years and according to the Commonwealth she will serve two years of the four to complete her tour of duty in the office.

Commonwealth is an international association of 56 independent countries drawn from Africa, Asia, America, Europe and the Pacific. These Member States advance common objectives and shared goals of prosperity, advancement of democracy and peace.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General is charged with promoting, and protecting the

organisation’s values, and representing the Commonwealth publicly. The Secretary-General is also responsible for the Secretariat’s staff.

The Commonwealth Secretariat has observer status in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. It is also a member of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and has participated in various peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions around the world including Zimbabwe, Uganda and Afghanistan.

Setipa is currently serving as the Senior Director, Strategy, Portfolio, Partnerships and Digital Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

He has an illustrious career spanning over 20 years having served in Lesotho in different capacities having held senior positions both locally and internationally.

He was appointed the first Managing Director of the United Nations Bank of Technology for Least Developed Countries in 2018.

From 2017 to 2018 he was a senior consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC in the United States.

He had also served in His Majesty’s government, where he served as the Minister of Trade and Industry from 2015 to 2017. Prior to this, he served as a Chief Executive Officer at the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), the position he held from 2012 to 2014.

Setipa also served in the Cabinet of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

He holds an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, a Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Trade from the Australian National University and Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Political Science from the National University of Lesotho.

The publication could not immediately establish if there are countries which had thrown their weight behind Lesotho and how many if any did not succeed as by the time of going to press last night the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations’ principal secretary Thabang

Lekhela had not responded to the questions send to him.

This prominent position is also contested by Tanzania and Ghana in Africa.

Currently the Head of the Commonwealth is King Charles III, a position he assumed following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General is selected through consensus by the Member States at a Summit. The new Secretary-General will be chosen during the upcoming Commonwealth

Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which is slated to commence on October 21, later this year in Apia, Samoa.