Africa Scout Radio
A key strategy of the project is the use of volunteers, who are engaged right from the start in concept development, writing of scripts, and recording in the studio. Young Scouts prepare and broadcast the programmes with the help of a Christian radio station which facilitates production of the programmes at cost. As commercial/private radio stations are unwilling to air programmes free of charge, organisers have asked scout associations to approach national and community radio stations for free airtime.
According to the organisers, the Ten-year Development Plan for the Development of Scouting in Africa, which was adopted for implementation at the 11th Africa Scout Conference in Gabon, provides the impetus that will see a new revival of Scouting in Africa. It strategises on how Scouting will play its role in poverty reduction, fighting disease, protecting the environment but above all, developing young Africans, proud of their heritage, equipped and “ready to play their role in the renaissance of the African continent.”
Currently, 32 English programmes, 12 French programmes, and 24 Kiswahili programmes are ready for broadcast. Some countries such as Kenya, Nigeria (Benin City), and Swaziland are already broadcasting the programmes. Future plans for Africa Scout Radio include:
- reducing production costs by procuring studio equipment;
- ensuring that all English-speaking scout associations succeed in broadcasting the radio programmes in their countries;
- translating the programmes to French for the benefit of French-speaking scout associations in Africa; and
- supporting national Scout associations in their translation of programmes into local languages such as Kiswahili.
According to the organisers, 60% of the population in Africa is below 25 years of age. However, only around 1% of this population is in active scouting. This is due to a lack of resources, infrastructure, and the limited ability to communicate effectively to spread the word about scouting in the region. This is especially true in rural areas, where most of the population lives. The Africa Scout Region chose the medium of radio to make scouting available to more young Africans.
The Scout Movement is taking part in a range of different initiatives:
- Global Projects: This initiative encompasses areas such as mobilising young people at a global level; understanding the effects of globalisation; sustainable development; cultural diversity; the rights of children and young people; youth employability; responsible governance; the fight against racism; the fight against social exclusion; equal opportunities for men and women; youth involvement and youth citizenship; youth policies; the promotion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals; and protection of the environment
- Scouts of the World Award: This is an initiative to help National Scout Organisations revitalise the programme of Senior Sections (15-26 age range) by giving young people more opportunities to face the challenges of the future as identified by the Millennium Declaration unanimously adopted by the 189 member countries of the United Nations in 2000.
- Gifts for Peace: This is the key centennial programme for all Scouts to tackle local issues and make a difference in their communities. These Gifts for Peace are gifts of education, understanding, tolerance and respect for others, given by Scouts in the form of community projects.
- Environment: This project involved supporting Scouts to be equipped with the necessary skills and understanding to tackle the environmental challenges they face.
Letter sent from Lydiah Kiburu to The Communication Initiative on November 21, 2002 and World Organization of the Scout Movement website on February 04 2009.