Young people from 8 countries have convened in the Mozambican capital of Maputo for the 18th Southern Africa Zonal Youth Forum hosted by Liga dos Escuteiros de Mocamique (LEMO). The participants are drawn from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


The two-day event themed “Reconnecting resilient young people to shape an impactful future for Scouting” offers young people in the sub-region an opportunity to engage in discussions and contribute to shaping the direction of Scouting in the zone and their respective National Scout Organizations.


Speaking while opening the Forum, which coincided with the annual commemoration of Africa Day, the President of the Conselho Nacional da Juventude – CNJ (Mozambican National Youth Council), Ms Emilia Chambalo de Araujo challenged the young people to transform their positive energy into action for sustainable development and well-being of their communities. She urged them to discuss how they can best contribute to addressing challenges faced by young people of their respective countries and strategies for enhancing youth education. “As a National Youth Council, we believe in young people’s ability to develop the world. Working together with Scouts and others we can reach the desired success for the youth. We are willing and available to support the development of youth leaders and youth organizations in the country and the SADC region,” she said.


The Chairperson of the Conselho Nacional do Voluntaridado – CNV (National Volunteering Council) Deedar Guerra, noted the role LEMO plays as one of its founders and Executive Board member. He reiterated their commitment to work with and support LEMO in the institutional rebuilding process.


Others who addressed the gathering include Emilaizer - Chairperson of Zonal Youth Advisors, Isaiah Marikopo – Vice Chairperson of Youth Advisors to the Africa Scout Committee, Herminio Muiambo - the Chief Scout of Mozambique and Nathie Nxumalo – Chairperson of the Zonal Scout Committee.


During the Forum, the young people will discuss issues relating to youth safety and protection, youth engagement, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. They will also get an opportunity engage in a community activity and to visit the city of Maputo.


The Youth Forum will close on 26th May to usher in the 47th Southern Africa Zonal Conference which begins the following day, where the Youth Forum will deliver a raft of recommendations for discussion and adoption.