Falcon College, an independent boys’ only boarding high school situated 60km out of Bulawayo, will host university students from nearly 20 African countries for the Pan-African Universities Debating Championships (PAUDC) this year end.
The 4th edition of the PAUDC will be held from December 4 to 11 at the school in Esigodini, Matabeleland South province.
Director of the championships, Zanele Ncube, said universities from nine countries had already confirmed participation.
“This year our target is to get 15 to 20 countries. We already have nine African countries that have registered so far. We have all universities from Zimbabwe and we expect more universities from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon and many other African countries,” she said.
The convenor of the tournament is Innocent Ncube and the adjudicating team includes Clive Eley, Mhlanganisi Madlongolwana, Kyle Parkin, Kimera Chetty and Paidamwoyo Mangondo.
Ncube said the tournament was aimed at bringing together university students from across the African continent to engage in competitive debating that will increase their critical thinking skills and foster key leadership skills.
“We also aim to create a platform for the establishment of an African Universities Debating Board which will facilitate the dissemination of training materials, coordination of Pan-African debating events and cooperative fundraising efforts for international tournaments and training sessions, and create a forum in which the general African citizenry can be exposed to new ideas, discuss topical issues and thus be challenged to think critically,” Ncube said.
She said the tournament was meant to build a culture of debate that extends from the universities to schools and all layers of society.
PAUDC was launched in 2008 with the aim of creating a sustainable culture of competitive university debating across the African continent.
In 2008 and 2009, the PAUDC were held in Gaborone, Botswana, while the third edition in 2010 was held in Windhoek, Namibia.