SA youth in 'debate marathon'

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Africa's finest young minds from 20 countries will compete in the third African Schools Debating Championships.

The championship started yesterday at St John's College in Johannesburg and will end on April 21.This premier youth event provides a platform for youthful expression and a fathoming of Africa's myriad social, economic and political problems.

Through the contest, the young Africans will also learn the skills of critical engagement, a quality essential to the concept of leadership and pivotal to the advancement of African democracy.

The teams are from Burkina Faso, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. In addition, the tournament will incorporate the National Debating Invitational.

It features 16 of South Africa's top debating schools - drawn from both public and government schools and from private and independent schools.

They will compete for the ASDC Schools Cup.

Constitutional Court judge, Justice Edwin Cameron, will start the proceedings. He and the Deputy Minister of Education, Advocate André Gaum, will be part of a panel discussion that will debate issues such as South Africa's 2009 general election, African unity, climate change and the global financial crisis.

The tournament is sponsored by Umsobomvu Youth Fund, First National Bank and St John's College.