Dear Worlds Community,
There are many reasons why the University of Botswana should host the WorldUniversities Debating Championships in 2011, but here are the 3 mostimportant - Organization, Development & Excitement
This is our 3rd concurrent bid for worlds. We've been preparing for worldssince May 2006 and we believe this clearly exhibits our desire to host thetournament, our long term vision and our ability to sustain an organization.We have an experienced organizing team, with anywhere from 7-15 years debateand hosting experience.
We recently hosted the biggest tournament in Africa, the first Pan-AfricanUniversities Debating Championships involving 10 African countries, morethan 30 Universities from across the African continent and many debatetrainers.
We have actively participated in the South African Debating Championshipsfor the past 9 years and are regular breakers in the tournament. Since 1997we have competed in the World Universities Debating Championship twice inStellenbosch (1997, 2003), NTU Singapore (2004), MMU Malaysia (2005), UBCVancouver (2007) and in Bangkok Thailand last year.
We have organized the Botswana schools debating tournament for the past fouryears and the Botswana inter-college championships. We know that organizingtournaments can be logistically exhaustive, random and difficult to manage.We know because we've been part of, planned and executed similar tournamentsand events before and are thus ready for the challenge.
The University of Botswana has a long and impressive track record of hostinglarge regional events. The entire tournament will take place on theUniversity of Botswana campus, which is in the city centre of Gaborone.
We have more than 50 smart classrooms, which will make excellent debatevenues, lectures halls with more than 500 persons seating capacity andcomfortable dining halls. The infrastructure to host large internationalconferences is available.
In the last two years alone, UB hosted the BOLESWA games between BotswanaLesotho Swaziland (which includes debating), a pre CHOGM Symposium for allCommonwealth Universities, the NOMA awards for the best writer, author andpublisher n Africa, the first IASTED conference in Africa (InternationalAssociation for Science and technology Development) and many more eventsthat depended upon huge conference facilities, IT support, first world classaccommodation, safe environments and easy international access.
We have incredible amount of support from the government, private sector,and NGOs. With our improved organizational team and with LogandranBalavijendran and James Dray heading the Adjudication team, we honestlybelieve we can host not just the best Worlds in Africa, but the best Worldsever.
From 1997 to 2009 only 1 Worlds has been hosted in Africa (4 in AustralAsia,5 in Europe, 2 in North America). Yet teams from the African Continent haveparticipated in every one of them. Occasionally some institutions will maketheir first appearance, but seldom come back, it is now time that Africa isgiven a chance
In the 30 years of WUDC history, it has visited the African continent twice(Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1997 and 2003). For 2 debate generations,debaters in Africa have not had Worlds on their continent. Representation ofAfrican teams at Worlds has withered. While debate continues to flourish inpockets, it does so alone and segregated from the Worlds community. It istime we changed this.
Hosting the World Universities Debating Championships in Botswana will allowdebate to grow in Africa, because it will give us a platform to promotedebate. Members of the organizing committee of Botswana Worlds 2011 havebeen promoting debate actively in Southern Africa, mainly by runningworkshops and debate tournaments in Swaziland and Lesotho. The response, tolearn and spread debate, has been amazing. With the support of otherdebating nations in Southern Africa, we will use WUDC 2011 to plant debatinginto as many of the 52 countries in Africa as possible.
By 2011 we pledge to bring 20 African countries to Worlds for the first timeever. In the first continental tournament we organized we were able to bring10 African countries together just in a space of under four months, nextyear we plan to double the size of the tournament and even have 150 teams.There are many many countries that have shown interest to participate andcould not come this year and we are working with IDEA/OSI on assisting themto be able to attend next year.
We are currently in the process of setting up an English Speaking Union inBotswana, because of the attention and awareness we generated through ourbid for Botswana Worlds 2010. When other corporations, universities andgovernments see how huge, important and colorful the WUDC and debate is,they will be more pliable to pleas of support from hundreds of debaters intheir countries. This helps build larger debate organizations, securesupport for regional debate events and obtain funding to attend futureWorlds.
At the risk of sounding fantastic, the truth is Botswana has everything. Themost stable democratic country in Africa, with a solid economy and greatinfrastructure - boasts all the comforts and excitement of any developedcity. Great shopping, clubs, bars, food, casinos, backpacking adventure,resorts and food from around the world.
Integrated into Worlds will be visits to the Mokolodi Nature Reserve, (Gameviewing, leopard petting, elephant riding and general lounging in the sun),beers at St.Claire Lion's Park, opportunities to visit the Central KalahariNature Reserve.
Botswana worlds will also be less than 6 months after the FIFA World Cupends just across the border in South Africa. This means more travelpromotions, which means more options at less cost for you!
If the WUDC is to take you somewhere you would never go or could never go onyour own, let it take you to Botswana, Africa. Let it take you to theSafari, the Okavango, the Kalahari; to the transparent, safe, democratic,pluralistic nation that is Africa's best kept secret. Let it take you toBotswana.
Please visit our website, www.botswanaworlds.com, for more updatedinformation (organization team, logistics, schedules), videos and pictures.
I will see you at Cork, and hopefully, at Botswana Worlds 2011!
ConvenorBotswana Worlds 2011