Akilah students Brenda Muhati, Darlène Laure Karamutsa, and Lydia Uwimbabazi (Class of 2015) performed exceptionally well in the National Young Entrepreneur’s Debate Championships and secured Akilah’s place in the semi-finals of the competition.
This was the students’ first-ever public debate and they were up against stiff competition. Universities from all over Rwanda take part in the National Young Entrepreneur’s Debate Championships and many of the participants are experienced debaters who had taken part in the competition last year. The format of the debate was British Parliamentary Style, which is known to be the most demanding format, as participants are allowed to interrupt the competitors with questions during their presentations. To add to the students’ nerves, the debates are broadcast on national television!
The motion before the debaters was: Promoting entrepreneurship in the health sector is the only way to enable the development of the health sector in Rwanda. The students had prepared thoroughly during the week — they were even grilled by the staff in a mock debate! The students had only 20 minutes to develop their arguments before they had to present, but they were strong under pressure and delivered persuasive speeches.
Akilah student Brenda Muhati said:
It was so exciting for us to have such an opportunity. We were nervous because it was our first debate but we enjoyed it too because it gave us a chance to stretch our capabilities. We are looking forward to the semi-finals and hoping to reach the finals!
The students will now go on to the semi-finals at the end of September. We wish them luck!
Brenda Muhati on the semi-finals:
Making it to the semi-finals of the Rwanda National Young Entrepreneurs’ Debate Championships on 27 September was a great privilege for us. We attended an intensive three-day training camp beforehand so were well prepared, though the competition was tough. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the finals, but that has not discouraged us because it’s a stepping stone to success in the debates next year. We learned a lot. Most importantly, to be a great debater you need to be aware of current news, read widely, and improve your vocabulary. Confidence is also key to success and in debates we “agreed to disagree or disagree to agree”. This is not the end, but the start! We aim to teach and share what we learned with other students at Akilah so as to have strong debaters in Akilah in the future.