13th West Africa Zonal Scout Conference Opens in Niger
Niamey, Niger: The West Africa Zonal Scout Conference kicked off at the Palais de 29 Juillet in Niamey, Niger ahead of the upcoming Africa Scout Day celebrations with participation of 12 countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Also in attendance was Mali.
The conference in its thirteenth session is convened under the theme of “Africa Scouting; vector for peace and justice.” Different speakers who addressed the conference stressed on the need for Scouts to plat a leading role in working towards lasting peace in our communities. The first day began with the adoption of the agenda and rules of procedure. Different National Scout Organizations present then shared reports of activities and progress achieved since the last conference in Togo.
Chief Guest, Mr. Kassoum Moctar, Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Niger who was represented at the opening ceremony by his Technical Advisor said that the government was delighted to welcome Scouts to Niger for the different activities. “Scouting is an educational movement for young people. In Niger, the movement is active and strong especially with regards to implementing projects that benefit their communities and countries,” he observed.
Speaking on behalf of the Africa Scout Committee, Mr. Armand Djeigo noted that the zonal conference has continued to grow in participation and quality particularly with the support of World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre. He appreciated all NSOs for their participation and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity to connect, learn and get insights to make Scouting better in their countries.
Frederic Kama-Kama, the Regional Director Africa, reminded participants of the reason why Baden Powell founded the Scout Movement. “He started Scouting because of the challenge of the youth of the 20th century. His experience in Africa and India inspired him with regards to the values we can instill in young people. Our mission as Scouts is creating a better world – and we cannot do this unless we inspire ourselves through Scout Law and Promise,” he said. He also noted that in today’s world, especially in Africa, where young people are challenged by many vices, Scouting stands to offer an opportunity for us to build a society where young people are actively and positively engaged.
The three-day conference ends on 15 March 2019 to usher in the All Africa Scout Day celebrations to be held on Saturday 16th March 2019 at Academie des Arts Martiaux in Niamey.