HC Esipisu appointed as Commonwealth Executive Committee chairman

Queen Elizabeth II receives Kenya’s High Commissioner  Manoah Esipisu’s credentials on March 26, 2019/ COURTESY

Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu has been appointed Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors at the 54-member Commonwealth Secretariat, Foreign Affairs has said.

In the position, Esipisu, who is the former State House Spokesperson, will review resources,  programmes and financial affairs of Commonwealth.

This will essentially be the second time Esipisu is working at or with the Commonwealth, having been its spokesperson from 2006.


The Commonwealth Secretariat is the intergovernmental organisation that supports member countries to achieve the Commonwealth’s aims of development, democracy and peace.

The Secretariat is split into three structures: Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development; Governance and Peace Trade; Oceans and Natural Resources.

The Queen is the Head of Commonwealth but it is the Secretary General who is the face and chief executive officers of the Secretariat.  Patricia Scotland QC of Dominica is the current Secretary General, and is also the first woman to hold the position.

There is also the Board of Governors, comprising representatives of Commonwealth governments and High Commissioners based in London, civil society representatives, and the Commonwealth Secretary-General.

Selected members of the Board of Governors meet on a quarterly basis as the Executive Committee, which Esipisu will chair,  to review resources and programme and financial affairs. They approve Commonwealth Secretariat’s plans and budgets.

Member governments are represented on the Board of Governors.

Then there is the Chair-in-Office, who represents the Commonwealth at high-level international meetings. It is currently held by Boris Johnson.

He or she is the leader of the Commonwealth country who hosts a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The 2-year role comes into effect at the start of the CHOGM. The next CHOGM ought to be this year in Rwanda, when President Paul Kagame should take over.

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