Scouting for positive change in Africa: 35 countries participate in the Regional Jamboree
Scouts from over thirty countries gathered at the Bungere Scout camp in Gitega, Burundi from 28th July to 5th August 2012 for the 6th Africa Scout Jamboree. 29 African countries and 6 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy and Sweden) were present.
His Excellency, Gervais Rufyikiri, the second Vice President of Burundi, graced the opening ceremony. Also in attendance at the opening ceremony were ambassadors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, officials from the Ministry of Youth (Burundi), Sports and Culture in Burundi, members of the Africa Scout Committee and staff from the World Scout Bureau - Africa Regional Office.
“True to the theme of this Jamboree ‘Scouting for positive change’, we can say that the development of Africa will not be realised if we do not invest in youth. For this to happen, Scouting at all levels must be effective and recognised as a trusted stakeholder in the (development) process”, said Gilbert Mussumba, Chairman of the Africa Scout Committee during the opening ceremony.
Participants were taken through exciting inter-camp activities throughout the 9-day event. Participants also interacted with other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Global Development Village (GDV). Notable among them was the 350.org, which is an organisation for young people who seek to support grassroots youth movements across Africa to call for solutions to the climate crisis. Some of the event’s highlights were the excursions to the Gitega Museum, the Karera falls in Mwishanga and the Kiganda treaty site.
It is important to note that two major events ran concurrently on the sidelines of the Jamboree: the 6th Africa Scout Youth Forum (2nd gathering following the one in Angola earlier this year) and the Messengers of Peace Global Network’s Community Leaders Training. The Youth Forum gathered young people from 26 countries namely: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
At the end of the Youth Forum, a team of six youth advisors was elected: Esther Hilundwa (Namibia), Felana Razanamirindra (Madagascar), Dossou Henri Joel (Benin), Nathaniel Likabi (Cameroun), Liberty Makonese (Zimbabwe) and Grace Nyaruai Michuki - Chairperson (Kenya). The team is now tasked with organising the 7th Africa Scout Youth Forum scheduled for 2015 in Mauritius.
The Messengers of Peace (MoP) Global Network’s Community Leader’s Training saw the participation of 27 countries. They were: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Facilitated by Cynthia Márquez, together with Collie Kavanagh, Kim Moller-Elshoj, Ronni Tino Pedersen, Christoffer Heindorff Malling and staff members from the Africa Regional Office, the participants were taken through various aspects of social media and communications for the implementation of the MoP initiative.