KAMPALA — Makerere University Business School (MUBS) emerged winner of the 6th Uganda Dialogue Arena (UDA) National Inter University skills Expo, Poetry & Debate Championship hosted by Kyambogo University.
The 6th UDA National Inter-University Championship hosted between 5 -7 October 2022 under the theme “Climate Change and the Environment: Youth Voices and Actions on Achieving Net-Zero Emissions by 2050”.
According to organizers, the championship
seeks to promote debate, public speaking, career guidance and skills exhibition among Ugandan university students and the youths.
This tournament organized with support from Uganda Bio-Diversity Fund, SOLIDARIDAD Network, Kampala Capital City Authority, National Water and Sewerage Corporation— was also inspired by the successes of the past tournaments that UDA has organised nationwide both at tertiary and secondary school levels since its inception in 2011.
MUBS through their lethal intellectuals Daphine Arinaitwe and Melvin Wanjiru delivered the much coveted title to the Nakawa-based institution.
The International University of East Africa (IUEA) were the First Runners Up after a spirited fight through their top brass Survival Arinaitwe and Rutendo Moyo.
Ashraf Harid Mugoya from Islamic University in Uganda emerged the Best Male Speaker while Denis Ayebare emerged the Overall Best Speaker.
The hosts, Kyambogo University in a show of might had their two marksman Stephen Okwiri Ongia bring the Poetry title home.
Exhibitions ranged from innovations that are aimed at reducing greenhouse gases like use of brikkets, utensils made from plastics among others.
Trees were planted around the University as well as cleaning selected spots in Banda trading centres.
The Chief Guest, the First Lady Janet K. Museveni who was represented by Prof. Fabian Nabugoomu applauded the organisers for equipping the youth with leadership skills, that he said go along way beyond debate.
She called upon everyone to join the fight against Climate Change and called for penalties to culprits.
She noted that culture of dialogue and amicable conflict resolution was beginning to erode and instead violence, blackmail, hate are being promoted. She asked the young people to live in harmony and make Uganda a better place than they found it. That the ministry of education and sports will do all it takes to support such youth initiatives.
In her concluding remarks, she thanked all players in the Climate Change fight especially the Solidaridad Network, Uganda Biodiversity Fund, KCCA, National Water and Sewerage Corporation among others.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Uganda Dialogue Arena (UDA) Chief Executive Mr Fredrick T. Musiimenta was proud that his efforts in empowering and mentoring young people have not been in vain.
In his address at the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF) Mr Ivan Amanigaruhanga thanked the organisers and credited them for engaging in such important and sensitive topic of climate change. He told them that Uganda has a deficit of $8.4 million dollars (close to UGX 30 billion shillings) for biodiversity conservation of Uganda’s forests.
He further reminded the attendees that only 20% rainforests left and there is urgent need to empower youth being the largest group among the population to put an end to this.
The Solidaridad Projects Manager Joshua Rukundo who was speaking on behalf their Country Manager called upon the students to advocate what’s being debated and walk the talk to organize similar climate based dialogues in different parts of the country.; he further told how much land is available in Uganda for production yet only about 30% is utilized.
He pledged to support initiatives of young people whose efforts are about conservation as well as educating fellow students about the advantages of conserving biodiversity.
The National Patron, Mr Fagil M. Mandy who was not physically present due to other engagements said in a message read that young people must know that the world is moving very first and no room for spoon feeding and second chance.
He implored them to work hard and avoid begging for it under mines their creativity and independent thinking.
During a panel discussion before awarding the best The British High Commission in charge of East Africa Climate change desk Mr. Alex Crook implored the young people to put in more effort in ensuring the environment is conserved.
On EACOP debate, he said he had reservations but that government should do all it takes to put nature and the people first; that it was not all about money but livelihoods of future generations.
He appreciated the leaders of UDA and the partners for their steadfast move in fighting for climate justice.
In their many future prospects, UDA plans to organize poetry and essay competition before the end of the year; this was to be linked to Climate Change.
UDA also plans to officially launch the United Nations Model Debate in Uganda and have it adopted by Tertiary Institutions as well as secondary schools alongside the inter political party youth dialogue.