Strathmore University was honoured to have been the host of the Pan African University Debate Championship (PAUDC) that took place between 8th-15th December 2022. The PAUDC was an initiative of the Strathmore Debate Club. This Debate tournament attracted universities, passionate debaters, and orators from over 16 different African countries, which accounts for over 90 universities present for the debate. Quite extraordinary!
After months of planning and raising awareness about the event, it was finally here. Debaters. Spectators. Whether online or physically in attendance, the two-week event was filled with tons of excitement from passionate youths eagerly delving into the Pan-African experience.
In the opening ceremony, Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor, Strathmore University, encouraged the debaters to “Use your superpower not just to gain bragging rights but to champion causes and make a difference.” The debate topics were centred around African development, Biodiversity, globalization, and its effects, and GMOs, just to mention a few. Such topics stirred synergies and created an avenue to bring forth sustainable solutions as for the future we want, we must be part of the change.
Aside from the debates, thrilling and fun activities were organized. From karaoke sessions, to social nights to game nights. Notably, with the diverse cultures present, we totally learnt a thing or two about embracing Africanism. We toured the sites in the country and the most popular were the socials.
The media team stayed on top of every minute detail of this event. The social media pages were updated on time for easier access for participants and their universities to stay updated. As we live in the age of media, it was quite an effective tool to ensure debate topics were always posted on time after the sessions as well as the live streams of each session. This opened a space for debaters to reflect on their points and equally catch up with other motions that took place during the day. Additionally, a vagary of interesting interviews was conducted for the PAUDC audiences to feel engaged and understand what the event is about and what really goes on at a Pan African debate championship.
The closing ceremony took place in the evening hours at the Microsoft Auditorium. We had closing speeches from sponsors, remarkable debaters, judges and the organizing committee. The final debate round took place that same evening between Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. The topic was around the sovereignty of Somaliland. It was a tough debate round with eloquent speakers but like any other competition, there was only one winner. Nigeria took the cup home and it truly felt like a celebration of Pan Africa and the youth. Honourable mentions were received from the best speaker, best orator, judges and public speaker.
PAUDC came to a close on a high note and single handedly lured in different audiences from Pan Africa and beyond. It was an inspiring example of the power of the youth and debate altogether. It also revealed that the secret to Africa’s beauty and resilience is the hope that is its youth.
You can find more information about PAUDC and its works on their website and social media page – @paudcmashujaa22.
This article was written by Samita Mwanicky.
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