The African Leadership University (ALU) Debate Team triumphed at the 5th edition of the East African Universities’ Debating Championship held from the 1st – 3rd September, 2023. A compelling display of intellect, rhetoric, and strategic argumentation, this victory encapsulates the vibrant potential of Africa’s youth and the caliber of Africa’s future leaders being trained at ALU.
Held under the theme “Making Youth the Wheel of the people-led Economic Community,” the competition showcased the immense potential of Africa’s emerging voices, bridging the divide across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Rwanda. Organized by Aspire Debate Rwanda and held at Kigali Independent University’s (ULK) campus , the tournament brought together 17 universities across the 5 countries represented. ALU’s debate team emerged the champions, with 2nd place won by United States International University (USIU) and 3rd place taken by Strathmore University, both located in Kenya. ALU’s winning debating team consisted of Israel Smart – 2nd year student in Software Engineering and Aishat Ojibara, a 1st year student in Software Engineering at ALU whereas the adjudicators included Joy Stella Mbabazi – 3rd year student in Entrepreneurship and Cynthia Christelle Isaro – a final year student in Computer Science. “Through the course of the debating tournament, I learned to be more resilient. We faced quite a number of obstacles but managed to remain triumphant,” shares Aishat.
ALU’s win is not merely a tale of glory; it’s an eloquent testament to the power of the ALU’s self-directed learning model. “Because of this model, we’ve been trained to think for ourselves and think on our feet,” Israel Smart said, commenting on how ALU’s unique learning system has positioned its students for success in a variety of endeavors, debate being only one of them. This spirit of self-direction extends beyond academics, the debating stage and permeates the rich cultural tapestry of ALU’s campus life. “Through debate, we don’t just voice our opinions; we amplify the power of youth to shape Africa’s future. The East African Universities’ Debating Championship was a stage where intellect met passion, and ideas became a force for change. At ALU, we believe in the potential of African youths, and this victory is a testament to our commitment to nurturing leaders who will deliver the miracle that our continent needs,” says Israel. Building on past laurels, the debate team had already tasted victory in 2022 when two of its members won the Olympia Regional Debate Championships held at Cavendish University in Uganda. This sustained success is no fluke but a reflection of ALU’s dedication to nurturing multifaceted leaders.
At the African Leadership University (ALU), student life is crafted to nurture well-rounded leaders through a variety of programs focused on student support and personal development. The campus is a vibrant space for engagement and culture-building, ensuring a secure and organized environment. ALU takes pride in offering over 20 diverse clubs that range from Google Student Developer Club and Student Council Government to arts-focused societies like TEDxALU Rwanda and Music Society. Whether you’re into sports like football and basketball, intellectual pursuits like debate and chess, or creative outlets such as design and music, ALU provides myriad opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, perfect existing skills, or discover new talents. The vibrancy of the ALU campus, underpinned by student clubs and activities among others, augments the holistic growth of our students.
ALU’s recent debate championship win encapsulates the institution’s mission and vision — creating the next generation of African leaders who are not just academically proficient but also socially conscious and culturally rich. The self-directed learning model and a robust student life filled with a plethora of activities and clubs are the fertile grounds where these young minds are cultivated. It’s here that leaders are made, champions are born, and Africa’s future takes shape — one debate, one discussion, one student at a time.