Former President of Ghana, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, in an address delivered at the Africa Scout Conference in Kampala, Uganda, stated that the upsurge of conflict, terrorism and social upheaval across the world is not by accident, stating when people are pushed to the wall with no window to vent their frustrations violence seems to be the only option.
The global surge in social and political upheaval Flt Lt Rawlings noted; “are a direct creation of the stark inequalities we have in terms of social and economic sustenance.
“The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. The ‘savagery of capitalism’ has had a brutal effect on the equitable distribution of resources,” the former President told the audience of scouts drawn from across the continent at the conference held at the Speke Commonwealth Resort in Kampala last Sunday.
President Rawlings noted that the values of the scout movement are what the youth need. He said the scout ethos reaches far into the individual and at the centre of the discipline it inculcates is the desire to sacrifice, to provide for, and to live for other human beings.
The former President said having been involved in conflict resolution in several parts of Africa he had come face to face with the horrors of conflict and the deep-seated anger of the oppressed and called on the world to confront these realities.
Flt Lt Rawlings said: “Armed confrontation against insurgencies and terrorism, perceived or not, is not sufficient to rid the world of conflict.”
“The world will be a more peaceful and safe place if each individual seeks to improve the well-being of his neighbour and by extension his community.
On politicians, he said they will also have to eschew the penchant to take advantage of the populace by patronizing them.
“Governance is about being people centered and we all have a role in ensuring that we bring some of our errant leaders to order.”
Later at a meeting with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at State House in Entebbe on Monday, he commended the Ugandan leader for the investment in the scout movement. The Uganda government using the military, has modernized and expanded a scout campsite in Kampala into a facility capable of camping thousands of scouts and also hosting conferences and other events for commercial value.
The former President said the investment would go a long way to equip the youth into responsible citizens and enhance national development.
At the Africa Scout Foundation reception on Saturday, President Rawlings commended King Gustaf of Sweden and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for their significant contributions to the scout movement in Africa and elsewhere on the globe.
The Africa Scout Foundation focuses on raising funding and other forms of logistical support for the activities of the scout movement on the continent.
Flt Lt Rawlings called for the principles that guide the scout movement should be inculcated in every child of school going age stating that a good scout is a smart person and will perform better academically. He called on heads of state, former heads of state and Corporate Africa to support the scout movement.
Cr: Daily Graphic