Africa Needs More Scouts to Achieve its Developmental Aspirations
It's an honour for me and the Africa Scout Committee members to witness this first-of-its-kind Africa Scout Jamboree. At this time, we would have been in Uganda at the expansive Kaazi National Scout Camping and Training Centre in the outskirts of the bustling city of Kampala. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, though, we have been forced to innovate and find ways to still connect Scouts from all over Africa and beyond for this unique virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree.
I thank the Government and the people of the Republic of Uganda, through the President and Patron of Uganda Scouts Association H.E. Yoweri Museveni, who had committed to welcoming us to their beautiful country last year before we had to postpone the event. Despite that setback, they have continued to work with us to see that young people can still meet safely, aided by technology. We're even more glad that the President agreed to officiate this opening ceremony.
Our appreciation also goes to Uganda Scouts Association through the very active Chief Scout Prof. Maggie Kigozi and Chief Commissioner, Gen. Katumba Wamala and their team who were very enthusiastic in seeing to it that the postponed Jamboree can still go on virtually. To our dedicated staff at the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre, we thank you for your leadership and supporting the movement to find new ways to engage young people during challenging times and demonstrating why Scouting is the world's largest youth movement.
To the young people, Africa and the world needs you more than you have ever imagined. The theme of this virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree, "Step into Africa's tomorrow," is inviting you on a journey. A journey of self-discovery, solidarity and action for our world. To take on this journey, you will need to think about the Africa you want, innovate solutions to its most pressing challenges and take deliberate action to play your part in realizing that future. Thankfully, you're Scouts and I have all confidence in your abilities and preparedness to take on the challenge.
Africa needs more young people with the values, skills and mindset of a Scout. Young people who are ready to take up leadership and not wait on others to do things for them. Young people whose satisfaction comes from helping others and not putting them down. Young people who embrace global solidarity, sustainability and a commitment to the betterment of all humanity. If the world is to achieve the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Africa to realize the aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063, then I have no doubt that Scouts will be at the centre of it.
This virtual Africa Scout Jamboree is one of the opportunities the Scout movement provides young people to learn, acquire skills, build friendships and get inspired to be the change in their own lives and those of their families, communities, nations and the world. Scouting equips young people with education for life and prepares them for active community participation through which they contribute to creating a better world.
I urge you to use the Jamboree experience to better position yourselves for constructive contribution to society. Your life depends on the choices you make. I hope this Jamboree will help you with some of those good choices you need to make for yourself and our world. Imagine it's the year 2030 or 2063, what contribution to Africa's development do you want to be remembered for? That is the Africa's tomorrow we're asking you to step into.
My best wishes to you all for a successful Jamboree. Thank you!
Speech by Victor B. Atipagah, Chairperson of the Africa Scout Committee at the Opening Ceremony of the Virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree on 29th July 2021