The virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree has begun with thousands of young people gathered for the opening ceremony graced by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Musevini, President of the Republic of Uganda. This regional Scout event held every four years was scheduled to take place in Uganda in August 2020 but was postponed for a year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The event will now be hosted virtually from 29th July to 3rd August 2021 and supported by the Uganda Scout Association who will host the physical events at Kaazi National Scout Camp in Kampala, Uganda.
The Africa Scout Jamboree is the largest regular event organized by the Africa Scout Region, every four years gathering thousands of young people from all over Africa and the world. It is above all an educational event to promote peace and understanding. The Africa Scout Jamboree includes a wide variety of activities and also places great importance on everyday life and interaction on the campsite. Previous editions of the event have been held in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire in 2016; Bungere, Burundi in 2012; Catembe, Mozambique in 2006; Nairobi, Kenya in 2000; Accra, Ghana in 1994; Kampala, Uganda in 1989 and Shere Hills Jos, Nigeria in 1976.
Speaking via video message while officiating at the opening the jamboree, H.E President Museveni who is also the Patron of Uganda Scouts Association commended the organiser for ensuring that the event is held in a safe way so that the participants remain healthy and alive. “The Uganda Scouts fraternity is proud to associate itself with the worldwide Scouting movement and its educational agenda of instilling the values of discipline, sacrifice, service and hard work into the young people. It is important that young people get a solid foundation on which to build their future lives,” he added.
Organized under the theme “Step into Africa’s Tomorrow” with sub-themes on people, ubuntu and nature, the event will have a variety of activities delivered in collaboration with different partners of Scouting. It is open to Scouts between the ages of 13 to 17 years and volunteers aged over 18 years from all over Africa and the world. Where applicable, National Scout Organizations and individual Scouts will have an opportunity to locally host in-person outdoor events and take on different challenges under strict COVID-19 protocols.
Frederic Tutu Kama-Kama the Regional Director for Africa noted that the virtual jamboree provides an opportunity for young people to connect, learn from each other, share experiences, and develop their interpersonal skills. It will bring the world to Uganda virtually and through respect and solidarity, the participants will become one people. Recognizing potential threats and challenges to the virtual participation, he affirmed Scouting’s commitment to providing a safe and inclusive experience for all participants. “We have put in place online safety procedures including training staff and volunteers to track and address any forms of online abuse so that we can ensure everyone enjoys this unique virtual learning experience,” he reiterated.
The Chairperson of the Africa Scout Committee, Victor Atipaga observed that Africa needs more young people with the values, skills and mindset of a Scout. Young people who are ready to take up leadership and not wait on others to do things for them. His message to the young people, was that “the theme of this virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree -Step into Africa’s tomorrow – is inviting you on a journey. A journey of self-discovery, solidarity and action for our world. To take on this journey, you will need to think about the Africa you want, innovate solutions to its most pressing challenges and take deliberate action to play your part in realizing that future. Thankfully, you’re Scouts and I have all confidence in your abilities and preparedness to take on the challenge.”
The six-day event organized with support of the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre aims to empower and inspire young people to better position themselves for constructive contribution to society. For more information about the Africa Scout Jamboree, visit www.scout.org/africajamboree or follow social media updates using the hashtag #AfricaScoutJamboree across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.