All is now set for Rwandan students to participate in The Great Debaters Contest (GDC), a Kenyan-based high school debating competition, as it expands to Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania next season.
A selection process has already been launched online to identify schools to take part in this first ever regional debate competition. The students debate on current social, economic and political issues affecting Africa.
Each of the debates is produced into television shows that air on a number of regional television stations, including Citizen Television of Kenya.
The GDC project is an initiative of Jamhuri Peace Foundation and the Footprints Africa Foundation that provides a platform for young people to actively question, deliberate, share information, lobby and contribute in making Africa a better continent to live in.
In a recent tweet, the Director of Jamhuri Peace Foundation and the Footprints Africa Foundation, Julie Gichuru, announced their plan to make the debate competitions regional. This follows a successful TV competition in Kenya watched regionally by thousands, according to the GDC website.
“This year we are introducing Great Debaters Contest to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda,” she posted on tweeter, before requesting the public to recommend schools for the competitions.
According to public responses, some of the schools recommended included Excella School located in Kigali, and others based in Uganda and Tanzania.
The GDC debate was initiated to provide alternatives to Africa’s growing troubles of civil wars, poverty, scarce health facilities, unemployment, among others, they take recognition of the greatest challenge of the people of Africa. It aims to build a generation of charismatic leaders to inspire communities and galvanize their efforts around a shared vision.
“This crop of new leaders must learn and master the real issues and embrace the art of effective communication as a tool for successful transformation,” according to the project website.
According to Gichuru, the debate is geared towards nurturing a new generation of leaders that would lead the transformation to a peaceful and prosperous continent.
GDC is currently working with over 100 secondary schools in Kenya. The project mainly targets high school students, age 14-18 years.