Scouts across Africa commemorated the Africa Scout Day, which was established by the African Union (AU) through resolution (CM Res 1607 (LXII)) of the 62nd ordinary session of the Council of Ministers meeting on 21-23 June 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The resolution, which hails the Scout Movement for its contributions to the development of Africa, dedicates a day to celebrate the Movement and call for support from AU member-states to actively support the development, consolidation, and expansion of the Scout movement in Africa.
Since 2010, Scouts in Africa meet annually along with their partners, to showcase their achievements and promote the “spirit of world kinship, cooperation and mutual assistance amongst Scout Organizations in the region.”
This year’s celebrations were organised under the theme “ultimate reconnection” and provided an opportunity for Scouts to come together again, virtually and in-person, after more than two years of staying apart due to restrictions to in-person activities as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Several activities have taken place at national and regional levels culminating with the main celebrations today. Scouts gathered at camps to take part in educational activities, engage in community service and just have fun. The region also convened a partner’s roundtable to showcase existing collaborations and explore new ways of working together, a Scouts in action session to share grassroots youth initiatives creating positive change in communities across Africa, and a virtual campfire that brought with it a lot of excitement as Scouts sang and danced out in nature.
Speaking at the virtual celebrations, the Secretary-General of WOSM, Ahmad Alhendawi, in his remarks called for greater investment in young people to tap into their potential to take Africa forward considering that about 60% of the continent's population is under the age of 25. He challenged young people to reflect on their responsibility in any area they serve to bring out the best in themselves and their communities.
“The spirit of Scouting has prevailed throughout the pandemic and showed not only how resilient Scouts have been but also how much they can contribute to supporting their communities under difficult circumstances. Our world is still challenged in many aspects and needs us to push the bar higher in offering sustainable solutions,” said Frederic Kama-Kama, the Regional Director for Africa.
On his part the Chairperson of the Africa Scout Committee, Victor Atipagah noted that “this is a day for pride and celebration as we showcase our unity and impact as a movement for social change and reflect on the future we want for our world, our continent, our countries, our communities, and ourselves.”
While congratulating Scouts in Africa for their enormous contributions to the achievement of sustainable development goals, Andy Chapman, the Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, highlighted grassroots projects on environment and climate change, food security and nutrition, gender equality, humanitarian action and disaster response, and pandemic recovery among others implemented by Scouts from many countries across the continent. He further commended the young people, adult volunteers and National Scout Organizations from Africa who were recognised as Messengers of Peace Heroes in 2021. "I encourage you to be open to the ideas of others," he added.
The Scout Movement thanks the African Union for bestowing upon it this great honour and recognition. 27 years later Scouting continues to be the world’s leading educational youth movement, not just by membership but also by the impact of the actions of its members, both young people and adult volunteers, on their communities, countries, and the world. The movement remains committed and open to working with more partners to provide opportunities for young people to continue the work of creating a better Africa and a better world.
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Note to the Editor:
About theWorld Organization of the Scout Movement, Africa Region (WOSM Africa)
WOSM Africa is a branch of World Scouting responsible for fostering the Scout movement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Scouting is the world’s leading educational youth movement engaging 57 million young people, adult leaders, and volunteers in 224 countries and territories worldwide. As a growing Movement, Scouting is deeply embedded in local communities, responding to the diverse needs and aspirations of young people. Since its founding in 1907, Scouting has engaged young people in transformative education, training, and learning opportunities. Scouting offers young people a unique non-formal educational experience that directly contributes to their growth and development. In the region, Scouting has a membership of over 5 million young people and adult volunteers in 40 countries in Sub Saharan Africa. WOSM Africa’s office is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Find out more at www.scout.org/africa.