More than 1,300 Scout, young people and adults, from 26 countries in Africa and beyond gathered at the City Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe to celebrate the Africa Scout Day. This year's celebration was held under the theme of "Uniting young people through Scouting."
The celebrations started with a colorful street procession from Harare Museum to the stadium where all participants gathered to celebrate and officially close the 3-day International Scout Camp. The procession was led by a group of drum majorettes, the Dzivarasekwa High School Drummers who displayed an overwhelming performance throughout the entire route. Apart from the participants several other partner organizations including the Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA), UNICEF - Ureport and PACHIKORO were represented.
Zimbabwe mobilized 8 national provinces that sent approximately who sent Scout groups to the event. The international Scout participants were drawn from Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in the Government of Zimbabwe, Prof. Paul Mauhima graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest.
Different speakers urged Scouts unite and be the agents of change and development in Africa. In an interview, the Minister of Education in the Government of Zimbabwe, Prof. Paul Mauhima said,
"Scouting is important…it builds the appropriate values for a productive life in the future. A life that could be useful to the community. I really commend you for what you are doing."
"I see the Scouting movement, especially in the girls and boys in the movement, taking the lead in regenerating hope for Zimbabwe. So I want to urge and encourage them to continue to do what they are doing. But also to bring in a lot of youth to be part and parcel of the movement," said the Chief Guest.
Speaking at the event, Craig Turpie the Chairperson World Scout Committee urged Scout to use the skills they are gaining in the present to solve the needs not only of Africa but of the world as a whole by uniting and speaking a common language of hope.
Scouting is an education for life said the Chair World Scout Committee stating that our purpose as Scouts has never been more relevant than now as Africa and the rest of the world is seeking agents of peace and agents of change to correct all the wrong in the world. A Scout is active in doing good.
"You are not only the future, you are TODAY; you are the here and now, and with all the skills you have gained in Scouting you have the potential to take action on the issues that affect you and your communities. You can be the change that Africa needs; indeed, you can be the change that the world needs," said Craig.
The Chairperson of Africa Scout Committee Dr. Davis also graced the occasion urged young people in the continent to be united and take up an active role in the development of Africa stating that without the youth we as a continent cannot fight poverty.
The Regional director Mr. Frederic Tutu Kama-Kama reminded Scouts and the world as a whole to pay attention to what Scouts are doing right now as evident in the young people in the movement at a tender age are taking up and understanding their various roles in the society.
Africa Recognizes its Growth Champions
Kenya has been awarded for its efforts in the moulding of young people into responsible citizens through the Scouting youth program during the just concluded 8th Africa Scout Day celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe. While receiving the award, Kenya was applauded for its strategic approach to membership registration and its commitment to register 2.5 million Scouts in the next three years.
Botswana was also recognized for its efforts in growing its membership. Ethiopia was awarded for being great environmentalists as Swaziland took home a trophy for sending a great number of young people to the Africa Scouts Day. Zimbabwe was awarded for being excellent hosts for the even.
Avril a 12-year-old Girl Scout from Zimbabwe was awarded for her courage and talent displayed at during the Africa Scout day celebrations.
Cultural dances and diversity were evident at the celebrations which brought together over 26 countries from a region rich in diversity and culture.
Africa Scout Day celebrations also included the 3rd Africa Scout Communications Forum, International Scout Camp and a meeting of the Africa Scout Committee.
Scout Communicators drawn from 19 National Scout Organizations met at ZESA National Training Centre in Harare for the 3rd Africa Scout Communications Forum from 7 to 10 March 2018. Held under the theme "Communicating Our Impact, Strengthening Our Profile," the forum served as a capacity building platform for Communicators to enable them to better tell the Scout stories. The participants also had an opportunity to learn and share on communication best practices. A key outcome has been the establishment a communications network for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in communicating for Scouting in Africa.
At Ruwa Scout Park, more than 500 Scout drawn from 8 NSOs had great fun camping over three days engaging in learning and developing friendships through interactions and programme activities. The Scouts engaged in community service, solar energy training under the "Scouts go Solar" programme, cultural exchange activities among others.
The Africa Scout Committee also held its first statutory meeting of the year to discuss key issues relating to the governance of Scouting in the region. Some of the key items on the committee's agenda was the review of the draft regional triennial plan and preparations for the upcoming 17th Africa Scout Conference and 8th Africa Scout Conference.
About the Africa Scout Day
The Africa Scout Day was set aside through a resolution (CM Res 1607 (LXII)) of the Council of Ministers of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) - now African Union (AU), meeting in its Sixty-Second Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, from 21st to 23rd June 1995. This was in recognition of the Scout movement's contribution to the education of young people and the development of Africa.
In September 2010, the Africa Scout Committee resolved to give the Africa Scout Day celebration a regional outlook, by assigning a National Scouting Organization to host the main celebration; whereby Scouts and Scouters meet, along with their partners, to showcase their achievements and promote the "spirit of world kinship, cooperation and mutual assistance amongst Scout Organizations within the Region" (WOSM Constitution, Article XXI.1.A). Since the Africa Scout Committee's decision to make the Africa Scout Day celebration a regional event, we have successfully held previous celebrations in Burundi, Angola, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania.
The purpose of the annual Africa Scout Day, marked on the 13th of March is to celebrate the Scout Movement's contribution to the development of Africa. The day also provides an opportunity for Scouts and Scouters throughout the region to take stock of the achievements of Scouting and build partnerships for more social impact in Africa. To know more visit www.scout.org/africascoutday