LUANDA - From 6th to 9th June 2012 participants from various corners of the world attended the 15th Africa Scout Conference which was successfully hosted by the Angola Scout Association. The event took place at the Futungo de Belas Centre. 29 African NSOs (National Scout Associations) were represented. There were 54 delegates and 12 observers. In addition 21 guests from outside Africa (Europe, Asia-Pacific and Canada) were in attendance. The support team included 7 Africa Scout Committee members and 10 ARO staff members. In total 104 people were at the conference. A colourful opening ceremony that took place in the afternoon of 6th June attracted massive participation. More than 2000 people were in attendance. The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was His Excellency Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, the Vice President of Angola.
“The Angolan government considers the Angolan Scout Association as an important partner and is committed to supporting its initiatives. I am sure that Scouts can make a difference in families, in schools and at the work place, since Scouting promotes the creation of a harmonious world”, said His Excellency the Vice President.
This ceremony was also graced by the Chairman of the World Scout Committee, Simon Rhee, the Secretary General of WOSM, Luc Panissod, some staff members from the World Scout Bureau, Central Office, some members of the World Scout Committee, among many others. Many government dignitaries were also present.
The 4-day conference was rich in content. Participants took part in various topical workshops, had open forums in order to discuss directly matters affecting Scouting in the region. A Keynote address entitled “Organization of the 21st Century: Lessons from NEPARC’s Experience” was presented by Mr. Richard Hunlede, the CEO of NEPARC.
Other highlights included the investiture of the Africa Scout Committee, with four new members, namely Ayim Palamwe (Togo), Danielo Ramsamy (Mauritius), Kikas Machado (Angola) and Wayne Davis (Ethiopia). The new Regional Committee Chairman is Gilbert Mussumba from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is also the Director of the Amahoro-Amani Project. At the same occasion, Some Scout Leaders received the Elephant Award. The line-up of the new Africa Scout Committee for the exercise 2012-2015 is as follows:
Participants also paid a courtesy call to the governor of Luanda, Bento Francisco Sebastião Bento "Bento Bento", who also hosted a reception for the Africa Scout Foundation.
The conference came hot on the heels of the 6th Africa Youth that took place from 1st to 4th June 2012 at the Casa da Juventude in Luanda. The local host team of the forum consisted of young Angolans, namely Irma Gabriel and Belarmino Cardoso, among others, with the support from volunteers and the ARO.
The closing ceremony was equally colorful, with beautiful Angolan music and awards. The next regional conference will be held in Mauritius in 2015.
Photos: Nelson Nascimento
Picture 1: © Nelson Nascimento