Strathmore Law Team Emerge Winners at Inaugural Student Debate in Kampala
Fourth Year Strathmore Law students Rhodah Nyamongo, Victor Njenga and John Nakholi were the proud winners of this years’ inaugural Student Debate that saw the three compete against representatives from 9 other universities within Africa.
Selected as one of the top public and private universities in Kenya based on international rankings, Strathmore Law School was invited to participate in this competition by Tax Justice Network – Africa (TJN-A), in an effort to give the Law students an opportunity to explore tax justice matters as well as gett an opportunity to investigate different perspectives of taxation.
Through the help of Graduate Assistants, Edward Paranta and Margaret Muchoki, as well as their lecturer Ms. Catherine Mutuva, the three students tackled the debate topic Closing Tax Loopholes to Finance Africa’s Structural Transformation. Through this topic, the team focused on proposing four main areas which included; Transparency is a panacea for addressing illicit financial flows; Inter-state competition is healthy for investment; Harmonisation of the regional fiscal mining regimes is critical to Africa’s development; Tax is a human rights issue.
To bag the winning price, the team embraced teamwork, hardwork and dedication, as well as identifying and exploring each other’s strength through the various rounds. Furthermore, due to the fact that the debate required all members to speak for at least three minutes, a lot of time was put into researching the very broad topics despite their busy schedules. “As the debate approached we met daily after our classes between 5p.m. and 8 p.m. seeing that the four topics are rather broad and we had limited time, each of us selected a topic which we did thorough research on and compiled information in a memorandum which we shared with each other,” said Rhodah.
The team competed with representatives from public and private universities from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. In the first round, the Strathmore team competed against students from Makere University and Uganda Christian University. At the Semis, the team competed against Tumaini University from Tanzania and in the final round, competed against University of Burundi affording them the winning prize.
The great win has accorded the team an opportunity to work with the Policy Unit of the TJN-A to develop a paper and present during the FTC Conference coming up in 2017. The team will also attend a Tax and Development Short Course (Africa) in 2017, organized by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Institute of Development Studies.
“This experience reinforced my love for Law. It was proof that Law is a discipline that really cuts across all other disciplines. There is an immense amount of knowledge out there, and I truly believe that the study of the law allows us to appreciate and harness it for optimal benefit,” stated John.
Felicitations to the winning team for this great achievement.