80 Scouts and partners from 14 West African countries and beyond have converged
in Praia, Cape Verde for the 10th West Africa Zonal Youth Forum and 14th
Conference which starts from 26th February – 2nd March 2020.
The event is being organized by the West Africa Scout Committee in partnership with the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Center in Nairobi, Kenya and hosted by the Scout Association of Cape Verde under the theme- Scouting: Youth Leading for Peace
The Africa Scout Youth Forum and Conference takes place every year and provides an opportunity for young scouts to discuss an array of issues relating to young people and where they also make recommendations to the conference. The confab also seeks to provide a learning platform and to increase youth participation in decision-making processes at Zonal level.
At the opening ceremony, Cape Verde former president, Pedro Verona Pires reminded delegates that West Africa is one of the diverse zones in Africa but yet diversity management has been a serious challenge in both the Zone and the African continent leaderships.
The former president, who was decorated as a scout during the opening ceremony, said racialization thought makes people who share same country or continent still kill for ethical believe or colour all in the name of superiority.
“We cannot pretend as if we have not seen things happening in our surrounding. We need to realize that we can buy anything from the supermarket but we cannot buy dignity, love, love for nation, and loyalty but the values of scouting can be used to salvage the world”.
During the confab, The Gambia Scout Association was elected to host the 12th West Africa Zonal Youth Forum and 16th conference in 2022 after the 2021 Zonal Conference in Guinea Conakry. The Gambia Scout Association is established in 1921 and will be turning 100 years in 2021.
Momodou Kuyateh, the Secretary of The Gambia Scout Youth Forum has been elected as a Member of the West Africa Zonal Youth Committee and Omar Jarju (O.J), International and Partnership Commissioner of the Gambia Scout Association Has been elected into the West Africa Zonal Committee responsible of running the Affairs of the West Africa Zone.
Fatou M. Jallow - Chief Commissioner said, “I am happy that we are shaping the future of our country through the ministry of youths and sport and in partnership with the ministry of Education. Young people need to be empowered and to get access to decision making and scouting provides that safe space for them”.
National Youth Secretary, Momodu Kuyateh said, ‘the most important aspect of my participation at the West Africa Scout Youth Forum is to contribute to the education, acceptance and appreciation of the diverse youth membership in The Gambia Scout Association and I assure that all youths have equal opportunities in decision making programs through a value system based on youth empowerment and education.’
International Commissioner, Omar Jarju (O.J) explained that; ‘Scouting provides young people with the opportunities to attend events and learn and share experiences with others, inculcate good values, take actions for sustainable development, learn new skills and the same time have fun.’
While expressing appreciation to the Ministry of Youths and Sport for supporting them to participate in the event and in other activities through the minister, he equally extends appreciation to the president, who by virtue of his position is the Chief Patron of the Association.
“This started since 1921 with Governor Captain Cecil Armitage, KCMG and the tradition continued up to date.”