16th Africa Scout Regional Conference opens
Some 170 delegates from 29 National Scout Organizations from the Africa Scout Region convened at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda for the 16th Africa Scout Conference.
The four-day conference, from 28 to 31 August, is hosted by the Uganda Scout Association as part of its Centenary celebrations that included the National Centenary Jamboree, which ended on 26 August, and the 7th Africa Scout Youth Forum, which was held from 24 to 27 August.
Also present were 12 National Scout Organizations from outside the Africa region, members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), who attended as observers.
The conference, themed “Scouting: Africa’s Leading Social Force for Youth Empowerment”, was officially opened by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Muruli Mukasa.
In his speech, the Minister said that Scouting has contributed to shaping the growing youth, transforming them into true patriots who cherish humanity, protect nature and plant seeds of love, peace, hard work and friendship.
“We are determined as a government to do everything possible within our means to further popularise the enviable philosophy and doctrines of the Scout Movement,” Hon. Mukasa said.
He added that the government will be fully upgrading the Kaazi Training and Camping site, where the recent National Centenary Jamboree was held, “to international standards and making it truly a rendezvous for all international and global Scouting events”.
The Chief Scout of the Uganda Scout Association, Prof. Maggie Kigoz, said that for 100 years now, Scouting in Uganda has been creating leaders for the world, and “we will continue to build for the future – disciplined, useful, strong, innovative citizens”.
In his remarks, the Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, João A. Gonçalves, reminded the delegates of the importance of the conference as it serves as a platform where delegates are “updated on regional and world developments; make good decisions for the progress of Scouting for the next triennium; and exchange ideas and network for the betterment of the Movement”.
Earlier in the day, the Vice-Chair of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) (Africa Region), Justine Nkurunziza, said the theme of the conference also reflected the objective of WAGGGS to be “a force for youth empowerment… to take action to change the world”.
WAGGGS and World Scouting share similar values and a long and unique history of collaboration and partnership in working with young people. “We look forward to growing this collaboration at the regional level as we empower African youth,” she said.
Reports were also presented by the Chairperson of the Africa Scout Committee, Mohamadou Bachir Diouf, and its Treasurer, Jeremy Miriti Naivasha; the Regional Director, Frederic Tutu Kama-Kama; and the outgoing Chair of the Youth Advisors, Grace Michuki.
Notable themes that emerged as priorities for the conference were “exploring ways of ensuring and promoting good governance”, “emphasising quality assured Scouting”, and “empowering young people”.