The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa is an African-led initiative whose goals are to ensure that the contributions of natural capital to sustainable economic growth, maintenance and improvement of social capital and human well-being are quantified and integrated into development and business practice.

This is a commitment by ten African countries that was signed during the Summit for Sustainability in Africa, held in Gaborone in May 2012. At this summit 10 countries; Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania, reaffirmed their commitment to implementing all conventions and declarations that promote Sustainable Development to address the issue of natural capital depletion across a growing continent.

The resulting Declaration commits member countries to make progress towards three commitments:

  1. Integrating the value of natural capital into national accounting and corporate planning and reporting processes, policies and programs.
  2. Building social capital and reducing poverty by transitioning agriculture, extractive industries, fisheries and other natural capital uses to practices that promote sustainable employment, food security, sustainable energy and the protection of natural capital through protected areas and other mechanisms.
  3. Building knowledge, data, capacity and policy networks to promote leadership and new models in the field of sustainable development, and to increase momentum for positive change.

A number of regional and global platforms have endorsed the GDSA. These includes the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), Conservation International and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Mr Olimpio Nhuleipo and Mr Ferdinand Mwapopi during a discussion session.

In October 2017, the GDSA celebrated its Fifth Anniversary in Maun Botswana attended by member countries. The Namibian Delegation was led by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mr Tommy Nambahu, the First Secretary for Political Affairs at the Namibia High Commission to Botswana Ms. Nomsa Uushona and officials from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Mr Ferdinand Mwapopi, Mr Tonateni Shidhudhu and Mr. Olimpio Nhuleipo, whom is also the Namibian Focal Point for GDSA.

The meeting aimed at celebrating the fifth anniversary of the GDSA whilst reviewing the progress and impact of the GDSA since its founding. Likewise, the delegates discussed the 2017-2022 GDSA Strategy and GDSA governance arrangements and to review the draft Maun Statement.

Highlights from this year’s conference was Madagascar officially becoming the 11th signatory member of the GDSA. Other conference outputs were new and improved GDSA governance framework,, as well as firming the links between the GDSA secretariat and member countries. Another important discussion was the need to articulate country needs and continued financial assistance to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources.

Detailed recommendations for Namibia such as using the relevant line ministries (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) to consider the opportunity to benefit through the GDSA Secretariat for the National Capacity Mapping projects supported by GDSA though NASA, as well as considering the GDSA Secretariat funding model presented at the focal point in Nairobi in 2016 and identify projects that can be funded at national level.

Further recommendations included establishment of efficient communication between the Namibian focal point and the GDSA to ensure efficient information sharing.

Read up more on the Fifth Anniversary Meeting of the GDSA here.

Background information on the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa can be found here.