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!