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KNUST becomes first in West Africa to win ‘Pan African Universities Debate’ contest


The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have won the 11th edition of the Pan African Universities Debate Championship (PAUDC) held in Dars es Salaam in Tanzania making, it the first time the tournament has been won by an institution outside the Southern African region.

The Pan African Universities Debate Championships also known as PAUDC and nicknamed “Pans” is the biggest African inter-varsity debate tournament held every year.

It began in 2008 and has since received increasingly larger participation from Universities across Africa.

Ghanaian universities first participated in the PAUDC in 2012 with KNUST and the University of Ghana being the representatives from Ghana.

The Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Zenith College and Islamic University participated in subsequent editions.

The PAUDC structure is the British Parliamentary (BP) style. A BP debate is made up of 4 teams of 2, with 2 teams supporting a motion, and 2 teams opposing. Debating teams are independent and compete with each other.

At the end of the debate, teams are ranked from 1st to 4th.

The team names are as follows; Opening Government (OG) comprised of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Opening Opposition (OO) comprised of the Opposition Leader and Deputy Opposition Leader, Closing Government (CG) comprised of the Government Member and Government Whip and Closing Opposition (CO) comprised of the Opposition Member and the Opposition Whip.

Speaking order are as follows: Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Opposition Leader, and so forth.

This year’s edition saw only two institutions from Ghana, KNUST and University of Ghana participating with four and two teams respectively.

After nine rounds of preliminaries, all six teams broke to the knockout stage making it the first time Ghana attained such a laurel.

Three of the four teams KNUST presented made it to the semi-finals with one of the two teams from the University of Ghana.

The only University of Ghana team in the semis made it to the final with one of the three teams from KNUST joining two other teams from Midland State University from Zimbabwe and University of Free State from South Africa.

Isaac Boakye and Erasmus Maali Segbefia (who represented KNUST in the final) spoke on the motion “This House Regrets the Notion of Pan Africanism” from Closing Opposition and won by a unanimous decision.

According to Speech Forces, this is how the previous editions have gone.

2008: Botswana, Gaborone (Won by the University of Free State, South Africa)

2009: Botswana, Gaborone (Won by the University of Rhodes, South Africa)

2010: Namibia, Windhoek (Won by the University of Witswatersand, South Africa)

2011: Zimbabwe, Bulawayo (Won by the University of Pretoria, South Africa)

2012: South Africa, Pretoria (Won by the University of Cape Town, South Africa)

2013: Nigeria, Calabar (Won by the University of Cape Town, South Africa)

2014: South Africa, Polokwane (Won by the University of Botswana, Botswana)

2015: Ghana, Accra (Won by the University of Witswatersand, South Africa)

2016: Zimbabwe, Gweru (Won by the University of Witswaterand, South Africa)

2017: Cameroon, Buea (Won by Midlands State University, Zimbabwe)

2018: Tanzania, Dars es Salaam (Won by KNUST, Ghana)

KNUST won the bid to host the 12th edition of the tournament in December 2019 dubbed, “Akofena 19”.

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