The Tana Secretariat team travelled to Bahirdar from June 23 to June 25, 2022, to undertake a site assessment visit, engage with various government officials, and raise awareness that the 10th Tana Forum will be held from October 14-16, 2022, in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. As a result, the team was able to obtain essential meetings with the Amhara Regional Transport Office, the Amhara Regional State’s Culture and Tourism Bureau, and Bahir Dar University.
The Secretariat also visited Tana Forum Park in collaboration with the Amhara Region Land Administration office representatives. The team noticed that the majority of the trees planted by Heads of State have grown well. A discussion was also conducted on how to enhance the park and make it more appealing to the surrounding neighborhoods. Some suggestions included establishing a library focusing on the history and objective of the AU and Tana Forum for the public to learn more about it, as well as establishing a botanical garden in the park where research might be conducted.
Lastly, the group took a boat ride into Gorgora Park. Two project engineers welcomed the crew and provided them with a tour of the site and an overview of the project. The group was informed that the project is already more than 50% finalised and should be completed by September of this year. This massive project contains two presidential suites, bungalows, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a camping site, a reception area, cafés, two large all-day dining rooms with large kitchens, a parking space, and helicopter pads. It also has a gym, spa, meeting rooms of various sizes, and an amphitheater with dancing fountains. The park has three entrances: one for general tourists from Gondar, one for VIPs, and the other for boat guests from Bahir Dar. Taking Gorgora Park’s facilities and distance from Bahirdar into account, the Secretariat will consult with the relevant partners on the implementation of the session planned for Gorgora Park or the possibility of having a Grand Opening of Gorgora after the Tana Forum by bringing a limited number of participants.