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History made as Socialist International elects Ghanaian, Lasi as first African, first female Secretary General

In a consequential vote at the 26th Congress of the Socialist International, Ghana’s Benedicta Lasi, a lawyer and a member of the National Democratic Congress, has been elected Secretary General of the Socialist International, to succeed Luis Ayala from Chile.

Her election was after the tenure of Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the outgoing General Secretary of the NDC who is contesting for the National Chair position, ended as Vice President of Socialist International but decided not to go again

By this election, she has set a remarkable three-pronged record as the first woman, first African, and youngest person to be elected to lead the 132-member organisation, at age 35. She would be leading the organization with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, who has been elected to serve as President of the Socialist International.

Delegates from over 100 member parties across the world participated in the election in Madrid, Spain, as part of the 26th Congress of the organization on Friday, November 25, 2022. Prior to the election, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, expressed his confidence in the candidacy of Benedicta Lasi for her portfolio during his address to the Women’s Congress.

Furthermore, Benedicta Lasi joined the Spanish Prime Minister during interactions with members of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the Presidium of the International Union of Socialist Youth, where she previously served as Vice President from 2016 – 2021.

With these relations, both leaders have demonstrated their mutual commitment to duty and good prospects of fruit.

The Socialist International (SI), is a worldwide organization of political parties, which seeks to establish democratic socialism and realize the ideals of socio-economic solidarity, and environmental and socio-cultural justice across the world. It was formed in 1951 to replace the Labour and Socialist International and currently includes 132 member parties and organizations from over 100 countries across the world, which identify with social democracy, socialism, democratic socialism or labor-centered politics.

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Benedicta Lasi would be succeeding Luis Ayala from Chile to serve a full four-year term as Secretary-General while Pedro Sanchez would succeed former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou as President of the organization.

Notably, the current Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres served as President of the organization from November 1999 to June 2005. The SI is headquartered in London in United Kingdom.

Benedicta Lasi is a Ghanaian lawyer, investment consultant, politician, and member of the National Democratic Congress. She is a partner at Edfields Attorneys, Ghana, a Transaction Advisor for Africa Investment Consortium, and a Consultant at Fitch Advisory.

She has a Master’s in Economic Policy Management from the University of Ghana and a Master’s in Conflict, Peace, and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. Her political track record and service to the NDC includes; Branch Youth Organizer for Kpone-Katamanso Constituency, Constituency Executive Member for Lower Manya Krobo, Deputy Regional Youth Organizer for Eastern Region and Deputy Director of Elections for the Eastern Region of Ghana.

At the National level, she was also a member of the 2020 Vice Presidential Campaign Team and the 2020 Manifesto Committee of the NDC.

Currently, she serves as a member of a number of strategic committees of the party including the NDC’s Governance Committee, Agribusiness Committee, Energy Committee and Chairperson for the Youth Committee. As an astute lawyer within the party, she is the Chair of the NDC’s Eastern Regional Legal Team.