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10 May 2007

South Africa Wins The Inaugural ASDC

South Africa Wins The Inaugural African Schools Debating Championships!

After six rounds of intense debate on issues ranging from Chinese investment in Africa to the role of socio-economic rights in developing nations, South Africa convincingly clenched the final and emerged as the winners of the ASDC Nations Cup! Competition from the likes of Kenya, Zambia, Lesotho and Namibia was stiff but ultimately the young South Africans took the lead with their strong analysis and charismatic style.

The winners of the ASDC Schools Cup which saw the top 10 South African debating schools go head to head was St. Andrews College Grahamstown.

Whilst the competitive component was thoroughly engaging, most participants reported that the element they found most valuable was the incorporation of various panel discussions and talks by leading members of the civil society, government and business. For instance the tournament was officially opened by keynote speaker Professor Richard Mkandawire, The Nepad Advisor on Agriculture, who addressed participants on the role of African youth in shaping the development agenda. Friday saw the main auditorium packed to capacity as The Palestinian Solidarity Committee and the South African Union of Jewish students debated the topic “ Is Israel an Apartheid state?”

Participants were particularly enthralled by Advocate Gilbert Marcus’s discussion on socio-economic rights which was followed by a debate between COSATU representatives and university students on quiet diplomacy with Zimbabwe as well as a talk by Tapera Kapuwa of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

All in all the ASDC provided an amazing forum for youth and members of the public to engage in dialogue critical to the democratic advancement of Africa and as such the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund and St John’s College must be commended for their financial and logistical support for the tournament.

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