April 2018: Building on our February visits to select GDSA member countries in East Africa, the GDSA Secretariat is pleased to have visited Ghana in March and Lesotho in April of this year.
In regards to our visit to Ghana, the GDSA Deputy Executive Secretary and Sr. Technical Director were hosted by the Government on March 22nd and 23rd. During these two days, we were pleased to meet with the Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI), Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, who reiterated the Government's support for the GDSA. We were further given the opportunity to meet with a range of stakeholders in government including within MESTI, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and the Vice President's Office. As a result of these meetings, the GDSA Secretariat has agreed to sponsor the participation of the Hon. Deputy Minister to attend the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress in China later this year. In addition, we will begin working with the EPA to identify opportunities around natural capital accounting and policy-oriented south-south learning exchanges.
In Namibia, we were likewise warmly welcomed by our GDSA Focal Point and the Honorable Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism. Following these meetings, which were attended by the GDSA Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary, there was a small roundtable discussion, open to a range of government and non-government stakeholders designed to increase awareness of the GDSA in Namibia. These meetings helped confirm a range of opportunities for the Secretariat to support work in Namibia. For example, a delegate from Namibia will be included on a GDSA-organized learning exchange to Costa Rica happening later this year.
Looking forward, the Secretariat continues to work towards its aim of visiting every member country in 2018. These visits are designed to strengthen the Secretariat's ties with member countries and to identify opportunities for continued implementation of the GDSA vision.