In yet another display of academic excellence and oratorical brilliance, Debate Gambia (DeGa) held its Masters Round Championship Sunday June 10, 2017.
Held at the Faculty of Law Complex of the University of The Gambia, the event attracted students, and dignitaries as well as sponsors.
Delivering the keynote speech, Jainaba Teeda Sarr, emphasized the need for debate in our bid to build New Gambia.
Addressing the audience, she stated:
“Let me first take this opportunity to congratulate the members of Debate Gambia for creating this all too important platform and for their tenacity in seeing it through year after year despite the many challenges. I stand before you to make a case for debate and public speaking in realizing the New Gambia.
“In doing so I would like to begin with some historical backing by citing strong evidence of debates as an integral part of our traditional African political systems. My junior independent thesis as an undergraduate political science student, led me to some findings about the “Kgotla system” of the Southern African people of Botswana. This is a traditional system of conflict resolution and peace-building based on dialogue and debate which to this day informs the government of modern Botswana.”
She further asserted “Now more than ever before, we need a leveled, non-discriminatory public platform for self-expression and dialogue to shape our nation’s future. We need it first of all, as a fire-fighting system to temper our emotions which are currently reeling high from the embers of our revolutionary change in government. We need the public discourse to keep reminding us that in spite of whatever differing political positions we hold, we achieved a rare feat in that we rose out of one of our darkest moments as a people at the brink of catastrophic violence in one piece and in peace! This is a feat worthy of pride and as one BBC article put it, something a much bigger nation could learn from. As we feel the growing pains of a new republic, we need public discourse to keep the peace! This is not a luxury it is a necessity!”
The debate motion was (centered on the national utilities provider): NAWEC should be Privatised. The team speaking against the motion “Cherno Gaye and Mariama Danso (UTG)” were crowned champions.
At the end of the contest, the following winners were awarded trophies and other prizes.
Best Debater: Modou Lamin Jarjusey
2nd best speaker: Mariama Danso
3rd Best Speaker: Cherno Gaye
Most promising team: (Jariga E.Gaye and Santigie muhamed Kandeh)
Most promising Debater: Omar Camara
Most disciplined debater :Ebrima Jorbateh
Best Adjudicator: Fanta Fofana
Most promising Adjudicator: Haddy Cham
Most outstanding institutions: UTG and Gambia College.
The main sponsor of the competition, Former Presidential Affairs Minister and Youth Empowerment Expert, Momodou Sabally, sponsored a special prize (trophy) in honour of his late mother; the “Aja Kaddy Jammeh Prize for Best Female Debater” awarded to Mariama Danso.
Other speakers at the event were Mustapha Kah, Founder of Debate Gambia, and former Higher Education Minister Professor Aboubacarr Senghore.