National Scout Organizations of the Southern Africa Zone are meeting in Mozambique for the 47th Southern Africa Zonal Scout Conference under the theme “Reconnecting resilient young people to shape an impactful future for Scouting”. The annual conference brings together 60 participants from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The conference which closes on 28 May will see the leaders of the zone (adults and young people) engage in deliberations on many issues including on communications and advocacy, volunteers and adults in Scouting, financial management and World Scouting initiatives. National Scout Organizations will also share reports of their activities and impact stories to inspire each other.
The conference will also receive and deliberate on a report of the just concluded 18th Southern Africa Zonal Scout Youth Forum. Board members of the Africa Scout Foundation will also make a presentation to create awareness on and encourage membership into the Foundation.
Speaking while opening the conference, the Chief Guest H.E Oswaldo Petersburgo, State Secretary of Youth and Employment in the Government of Mozambique noted that the conference presents an opportunity to consolidate actions for the development of young people in the respective countries. “Scouting challenges young people to explore their limits and become responsible people in their communities and countries by offering solutions to the many challenges they face. The movement plays a crucial role in the development of their abilities and promotes good values for their growth. The theme of the event is an invitation for us to create an interconnection between adults and young people in the promotion of the youth education,” he said. He encouraged Scouts to intensify their efforts in building resilience of their countries to prepare for and overcome the devastating impacts of natural disasters being faced in the region.
While recognizing the NSOs’ response to the humanitarian crises that has affected the Southern Africa in recent times, he appreciated the government’s support for the Liga dos Escuteiros de Mocambique (LEMO) and called for greater collaboration with the movement towards the realization of the aspirations of young people in the country. “Where governments and Scouting work together, young people benefit from the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills relevant for addressing challenges of the modern world,” he said.
The Zonal Chairperson, Nathie Nxumalo recognised the role played by the Africa Scout Foundation in supporting young people and National Scout Organizations to respond to challenges facing young people in the region. He challenged young people to rise up, take leadership, and help to build resilience and impact in their communities.
On his part, the Chief Scout of Mozambique, Hermino Muiambo appreciated the National Scout Organizations for honouring their invitation. “Hosting this conference is an important part of our rebuilding process as LEMO. We are confident that it will help to spur new partnerships and growth for Scouting in the country,” he said optimistically.
A key outcome of the conference will be a set of resolutions that will be passed to help steer and promote development of Scouting in the zone over the coming years.