MBARARA — The 5th National Inter-University Skills Expo and Debate Championship 2019 that was hosted by Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara has come to an end with Cavendish University emerging Champions of the tight competition.
This came after Cavendish team found itself on the finals together with Makerere University, Kyambogo University and IUIU.
It started on wed 11th September in the heart of Mbarara town.
The tournament with other components of poetry and public speaking competitions was organized by Uganda Dialogue Arena in partnership with Action Aid and Global Platform Uganda.
Anyango Sanifo of International University of East Africa emerged the winner of Poetry while Abenawe Allan of UCU Mukono emerged the winner of Public speaking competition. About 300 students attended the highly billed inter university intellectual exchange of the year.
The tournament was attended by 22 universities: Ankole Western University, Bishop Stuart University, Busitema University, Cavendish University, Gulu University, Ibanda University, International University of East Africa, Islamic University in Uganda, Kabale University, Kampala International Univeristy- Western Campus, Kampala International University- Main Campus, Kyambogo University, Lira University, Makerere University, Makerere University Business School, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mountains of the Moon University, Muni University, Uganda Christian University, Uganda Pentecostal University, University of Kisubi, University of St Joseph’s Mbarara and was running under the theme “The governance and leadership question in Africa; the role and meaningful participation of young people”.
Previously, the tournament has been hosted by MUBS Nakawa in 2018, UCU Mukono in 2017, Kyambongo University in 2016 and Makerere University in 2015.
The Uganda Dialogue Arena is a platform uniting students and young people to tackle pertinent national issues through debate and dialogue.
It was founded in late 2009 as the Uganda Youth Debating Society (UYDS) to champion debate in institutions of learning and the general public.
It has since been renamed the Uganda Dialogue Arena after registration.
Speaking at the closure of the tournament, Mr. Fredrick Musiimenta the CEO Uganda Dialogue Arena said UDA has been organizing debates, workshops, Career Guidance and seminars in several institutions of learning since 2012 under different themes which are all aimed at involvement of young people in matters that affect their societies.
Since its inception, the Uganda Dialogue Arena has reached over 5000 young people.
This year, the Uganda Dialogue Arena has held 4 Regional Youth Debates with over 70 secondary schools comprising more than 1900 young debaters and future leaders.
Mr. Agababyona Collins the convenor of the tournament called upon leaders to create a free and fair space where young people can favourably compete for available opportunities.
This was re-echoed by Tournament Director Mr Onesmus Kansiime.
The Chief adjudicator was Mr Fred Odhiambo from University of Kabiang in Kenya deputised by Csl Donald Maasa, John Walaka, Ojambo Shabil and Ken Ssekyanzi, Nicholas Luweesi.
In his address, the Manager Global Platform Uganda and Action Aid Mr Primus B. Atukwatse called on the young people to take active role in shaping the Africa they want; he encouraged them to work with integrity, team work and with determination.
He pledged to continue supporting organised groups.
Action Aid supported last year’s 4th edition hosted by MUBS, Nakawa where Makerere University Champions.
He added that best speakers and Champions were awarded a fully paid trip to Arusha, Tanzania where they will debate with EALA MPs on matters of Democracy, governance among other areas.
The Patron Mr Fagil M. Mandy said he was very impressed by the intellect and maturity exhibited by young people.
He believes they are destined for greater heights as long as they are not engaged in violence.
Dr Kedrace Turyagyenda who represented and delivered the speech of the Minister of Education Hon. Janet K. Museveni thanked organisers UDA for consistently engaging young people in meaningful activities such as Debate, skills expo and public speaking.
She called upon all young people to acquire a skill that will enable them achieve more.
She encouraged them to work towards achieving vision 2040 as well working in line with the programme Skilling Uganda. The minister pledged continued support towards initiatives of young people whom she encouraged to remain healthy, God fearing and focused.
The Global Platform Uganda/ Action Aid and the Uganda Dialogue Arena (UDA) afterwards invited all University Debate Society Presidents across the country to a networking meeting aimed at buttressing quality debate in institutions of learning.