The East African University Debate (EAUDC) championship 2016 was concluded on Monday at University of Rwanda’s College of Education with Mount Kenya University (MKU) clinching the top place.
The five-day event that attracted 11 universities was organised by Aspire Debate Rwanda and EAC-YAP Rwanda, in partnership with University of Rwanda, and MINEAC, among others, under the theme ‘Better together as youth for deeper East African Communities Integration’.
The competitors were placed into groups of four, where proposers were dubbed ‘Government’ while proposers were ‘Opposition’. The groups had to express their knowledge about regional integration, particularly under the motion, ‘Monetary Union is Unrealistic to achieve in 2024’.
Rachael Uwase, the East African Community (EAC) youth ambassador to Rwanda, said the aim of the competition was to help the youth learn about EAC affairs so that they can participate and contribute to the integration process.
“So far we have achieved one of the main goal, which is to give knowledge about different stages of the integration process, for instance the topics that were discussed such as customs union, monetary union and others,” she said.
Nathan Gashayija, the director-general of MINEAC, said such competitions should be encouraged in all institutions because apart from being informative, they also promote people-centred integration.
“It’s not simply debating, but the youth can inspire government officials to work hard because the topics discussed are of regional importance. Such competitions also prepare the young generation to be able to tackle future problems,” he says.
Gashayija urged the youth to be ambassadors and help in spreading the importance of debate to other people around the East African Community.
David Ntambiye, the co-odinator of Aspire Debate Rwanda, said the competition provided an opportunity for youth to come together to find solutions for future problems.
“Skills from debating are as important as those of entrepreneurs because one needs to be a critical thinker and confident enough to express their ideas and skills, which can only be achieved if one is a good debater,” he said.
Nine Rwandan and two Ugandan universities turned up for the competition, where each participant was awarded certificate of merit.
Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Kepler University, University of Rwanda’s College of Education, University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Sciences, University of Kigali and Mount Kenya University (MKU) were among the universities that attended from Rwanda. Uganda was represented by Kyambogo and Mukono universities.