Africa Scout Day Date in the current year: March 13, 2024

Africa Scout Day Africa Scout Day is celebrated annually on March 13. It was officially established by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (replaced by the African Union in 2002) in 1995 to recognize the Scout movement in Africa.

The Scout movement was founded by British Army officer Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. Baden-Powell used his experience in military reconnaissance to create a program of informal education for boys with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities.

Outside the United Kingdom, the movement was quickly established in several colonies of the British Empire, including South Africa. The first Scout troops were created in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Natal in 1908. Due to the segregation policy, there were separate Scout groups for black and white boys.

From South Africa, Scouting began to spread throughout the continent. On March 13, 1963, Scout leaders from around sub-Saharan Africa gathered in the Nigerian capital of Lagos to discuss the formation of the organization that would unite African Scouts. Today, the anniversary of this meeting is celebrated as the birthday of the Africa Scout Region and as Africa Scout Day.

The Africa Scout Region supports and coordinates National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in sub-Saharan Africa. It has 40 member NSOs and seven potential members. Its members include NSOs from Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland (eSwatini), Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The potential members are the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Djibouti, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, and Somali.

According to the official website of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the African Scout movement has over 3.5 million members throughout the continent. To recognize the role of Scouting in educating youth, as well as its contribution to community development projects, the Council of Ministers of OAU established Africa Scout Day.

In 2010, Africa Scout Day became a region-focused celebration. Although it is still observed in all member states of the Africa Scout Region, the main event takes place in a new country every year, giving local NSO or NSOs an opportunity to shine. So far, big regional events have been held in Burundi (2011), Angola (2012), Ethiopia (2013), Swaziland (2014), Uganda (2015 and 2020), Ghana (2016), Tanzania (2017), Zimbabwe (2018), and Niger (2019).

The central event of Africa Scout Day is a three-day camp for Scouts from all over Africa as well as from across the world (although participants from outside the host country should be at least 14 years old). In addition to the main event, NSOs are encouraged to organize Africa Scout Day celebrations in their respective countries for those who can’t participate in the camp.

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