African Schools Debating Championships

The inaugural African Schools Debating Championships (ASDC) were held in 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The tournament has become an annual fixture on the African debating calendar, and over the years we have seen the participation of a growing number of nations, including Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The 2011 edition of ASDC was meant to be held outside of South Africa for the first time, in Uganda, but unfortunately did not take place, so we look forward to its return in 2012!

The format of ASDC is designed to provide young people with a platform from which they can be exposed to and interact with top intellectuals, politicians, sportsmen and business leaders. The debates are interspersed with a number of these high-profile guest speakers. ASDC also has a significant training component: the first two days of the championships are filled with training workshops for all teams, from beginner to advanced. This plays an important role in honing the skills of the continent’s best debaters, and helps to bring them up to a level where they can be truly competitive.

South Africa has successfully won every edition of ASDC thus far – in other words, we have managed to hold onto the title of African Champions for four years in a row. However, it has not always been an easy ride, as the standard of debating in other competing nations is rising rapidly and we have been given a real run for our money on more than one occasion!

South Africa has also secured the top speaker prize at the tournament since 2007. The following speakers have been judged the best in Africa:

  • Quintin Moodley (2007)
  • Mark Schoeman (2008)
  • Noah de Villiers (2009)
  • Reantha Pillay (2010)

We are very proud of these speakers, and all of the speakers who have represented South Africa so well at the African Championships over the years!

23 thoughts on “African Schools Debating Championships”

  1. Hi GUys,

    I’m a former Debator n Public Speaker,. I really want to participate in any form of Debating Organizing or tonourments. My last involvement was with The ASDC in JHB as an adjudicator. Can you keep me informed of any tornourments that i can participate in.

  2. Hello – any chance I can get some information on the African schools championships? I am in Rwanda now, and it would be great to stop by if they are being held sometime in the next few months.


    1. Hi Mollie. South African is not hosting the ASDC this year. The competition was meant to move out of SA and into other countries, with Uganda hosting in 2011. Unfortunately I’ve not heard anything about where or when the 2011 competition will be held… I will let you know if I hear more. –Admin

      1. Hello, I am debater from Morocco and would like to know if there will be a debate this year and where will it be held. thank you.

        1. Dear Rihab,

          Unfortunately, we do not host ASDC nor have we received any information about it. To our knowledge, it has not been hosted since 2010.

          I’m sorry that we could not be of more assistance.


    1. Hi Kedibone. Please visit the Free State subpage here and email the FS Schools Debating Board. They’ll be able to tell you how to get involved with the provincial teams. –Admin

    1. Hi. ASDC didn’t end up happening this year because of logistical difficulties, but if it does happen next year, the way to get involved is as a member of the National team. The first step to this is competing in your local/provincial league, so that you’re eligible for the provincial teams. Refer to your province’s page for more information. –Admin

  3. Hi took part in the 2010 ASDC and was looking forward to 2011 this time as coach for the zambian term.since u say its not happening this year can u please keep me updated on where it will happen nxt year.

    1. Hey Chibwe,
      We were also suprised that ASDC did not happen this year. It was the first time that South Africa was not organising the tournament and we just didnt recieve any information about it. We are hoping that the 2012 tournament will go ahead and we will certainly keep you posted.- :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  4. Great works you are doing. Am from Zambia and I run a national live television debate which is Zambia’s biggest debate tourney. We would like our winners for this years competition to attend and witness your event later this year. How possible is that?

    1. Hey Suwilanji,
      We are excited that your country wishes to be involved in the African Schools Debating Championships! This year’s ASDC will not be hosted in South Africa, but in Botswana. We are not sure who is organizing the tournament yet, but if you send me an email at my address (, I will be able to ensure that as we get information about the tournament, it will be passed on to you. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  5. Hi,
    I am the Chair-lady of the La Rochelle debating society, in Paarl.
    I am responsible for organizing leagues and team training sessions. If possible could you please help me source training material and forward more information on competitions.

    1. Dear Christiane,
      The Western Cape Debating Board is in charge of debating in the Western Cape and can give you information on competitions. You can reach them by emailing their interim manager, Geoffrey Kilpin ( We also have some basic training material on this site, available here: – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  6. Hey Admin I’m 4rm Swaziland and would like to ask two questions.
    1. On behalf of the national team: any update on ASDC or contact details of people we could ask?
    2. On behalf of my school team: can we get involved with SA debatin tourneys in gauteng or contact details of people who run debating in some gauteng schools(st johns, PTA girls etc)?

    1. Dear Fanele,
      1) We have as of yet heard nothing about the tournament. We are also in the dark as to who is supposed to be running it or where it will be this year. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know.
      2) If you contact Warwick Brown (, he will be able to tell you about tournaments in the Gauteng area. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  7. Congrats SADEC! What a wonderful platform. I write from cameroon as the Execuive Chair of the Cameroon debate Association. we’lml attend the PAUDC 2012 this year in South Africa. we need your help and expertise to promote debate in Cameroon.

  8. Hello,

    Top of the day to you. Please do you know any Nigerian in the house? Do you have a member (Individual, Organization or Government) already from Nigeria? if YES, Good and if NO, I will like to represent my homeland. Please get back to me.


    Ezekiel from Lagos, Nigeria.

    1. Hi Ezekiel,

      I’m afraid we have nobody from Nigeria on this board. The SASDB organizes debating domestically within South Africa; the African Schools Debating CHampionships is not organised by us. Good luck!


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