The seventh edition of the Ghana Universities Debate and Public Speaking Championship 2021 opened at the campus of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani.
The theme for the five-day event from October 28 to November 2 is “Creating Avenue for Youth Participation in Advocacy and Policy-Making”.
Participating institutions include UENR, Akenten Appiah Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), University of Cape Coast and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, (GIMPA).
The others are the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ghana, University of Development Studies, Tamale, University of Health and Allied Sciences and the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies.
Discussions would centre on corruption and related effects on the nation, unemployment menace, educational curriculum for job creation, peaceful coexistence and many others.
Briefing the media, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of the UENR underlined the need for the youth to actively participate in policy formulation and national development discourse.
“Africa’s future can rest in good and safer hands if young men and women are not denied opportunities for their voices to be heard at all levels of development,” he said.
Prof. Asare-Bediako emphasized young men and women ought to be empowered to enable them to become critical thinkers and help find solutions to emerging development challenges.
He explained the Ghana Universities Debate and Public Speaking started in 2014 to intellectually equip students to debate on topical issues and contribute their intellectual capabilities toward national development.
“The event seeks to prepare the students to be critical thinkers who could effectively speak on issues of national concern and contribute meaningfully to policy formulation and implementation,” Prof Asare-Bediako stated.