News from the Africa Scout Region
The 12th Africa Scout Conference in Mauritius is only a few days away, and those planning to attend must have made all the necessary travel arrangements. The theme of the Conference is: Africa Scouting Reaches out beyond frontiers. As such, the conference will spend time discussing ways and means of breaking barriers, and venturing to those sections of society that have, for various reasons, not accessed Scouting.
Time has also been allocated to discuss the World Scout strategy and to ratify the amendments made to the 10 Year Development Plan, which was adopted by the 11th Africa Scout Conference in 2001, and which has been amended to integrate the World Strategy.
The Conference will also break into study circles during which selected topical issues will be discussed in detail, by way of sharing experiences, and developing new interventions. Some of the issues that will be discussed include; the role of Scouts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa, Scouts and environmental protection, raising the profile of Scouting, life skills, Scout and promotion of peace among others.
Just before the Conference begins on 6th September, the 3rd Africa Youth Forum will take place also in Mauritius. The main focus of the Forum is Youth Involvement, as a Priority in the World Strategy. The delegates will deliberate on how best they can more actively be involved in the decision making of their associations. Recommendations of the Youth Forum will be presented to the Conference for adoption.
For the first time, Africa Region will launch a youth award at the Conference. Like the Africa Elephant that is awarded to adult leaders who have rendered outstanding service to Scouting in Africa, the Youth Award will be in recognition for the most outstanding Scout in the region.
On the opening day of the Olympics, Friday 13th, August the flame was carried by Dr. Marie-Louise Correa, Chairman of the World Scout Committee. She was a Samsung-enlisted Torchbearer, and carried the flame along its final steps. It has been carried around the world by 11,000 torchbearers for the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay.
While the torch was passing through Cape Town in South Africa, it was carried by yet another Scout Leader, Brian February, Provincial Commissioner for scouts in the Cape Western Area of the South African Scout Association
Read more on the WOSM website: www.scout.org/front/0408olympics_e.shtml
During his recent visit to the Africa Regional Office, Dr. Missoni, together with UNEP's Executive Director, Klaus Teopfer signed a memorandum of understanding between WOSM and UNEP. The signing ceremony took place at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi.
The memorandum is a sign of recognition by UNEP of the long-time, world wide work of Scouts in the field of environmental education and protection. Partnership projects between UNEP and Scouting span many years. The new agreement will serve as a strong foundation upon which to strengthen the relationship between the two world bodies in their environmental initiatives.
In July, the President of Kenya was invested as the Patron of the Kenya Scout Association. The colourful event at State House in Nairobi was attended by hundreds of Scouts and their leaders from all over the country. Dr. Eduardo Missoni, WOSM Secretary General also attended the investiture ceremony during which he recognised President, Mwai Kibaki, as Honorary Patron of World Scouting for his support to Scouting in the Africa Scout Region.
Accepting his new position, the President commended the work that Scouts have been doing in Kenya, and said he was happy to serve as Patron. He also reinstated financial support to the Movement which had not been forthcoming for some years.
At the invitation of the Boy Scouts of America, BSA, Kinuthia Murugu recently attended this year's biannual Philmont International Conference. The conference brings together senior Scouters from across the United States of America who either serve as their Council's International Representatives or as Chairmen of their Council's International Committee. Kinuthia spoke on the different ways that Scouting in the US can partner with African Scouting so as to enrich the programme offered to Scouts in both regions. He also thanked the BSA for the considerable support they have extended to our region in the past. Ten participants at the conference joined the Africa Scout Foundation.