M Mandela Debate

Mandela Debate


The idea of the Mandela Africa Society Debate
Mandela Africa Society Debate has been conceived by the Africa students association of Ireland (ASAI) to bring together Irish, African and all international students in colleges and universities in Ireland to debate once per academic year or more, on one or several topics on matters that concern justice, freedom, democracy, global or national sustainable development and such other related topics to these themes. The debate impetus is to reflect the spirit of Nelson Mandela and other global leaders such as Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi Julius Nyerere, Wangari Maathai, Martin Luther King, Daniel O’Connell, Friedrich Douglas, and many others like them from all corners of the world, as students think about and debate national and global challenges of creating a better and just world locally and globally.

The first and second round of ASAI Africa society Mandela Debates took place across Africa societies in 2014 and 2015.  The motions debated were:
1. This house believes that the current generation of students are not revolutionary
2. For Development Trade is better than Aid

Below is a guide that ASAI has prepared for any Africa society that wants to bring together the Mandela debate in their college:

Bringing the debates to life in colleges
The key organization to take the challenge to organize the Mandela Africa Society debates will be Africa societies in all colleges and universities in Ireland. The society will take the responsibility and leadership in organizing the Mandela Africa Society Debate in their respective colleges and universities. The societies will cooperate with debating societies and other interested clubs of students in colleges as well as the college administration and the wide community to organize the debate. It is important for organizers to draw from the experience and the network of debating societies and clubs who run similar activities as well as from individuals and organizations in the college and in the wider community.
For organizing the first Mandela Africa Society Debate Africa societies in colleges are encouraged to begin the preparation in consultation with the ASAI and partner organizers in their colleges. ASAI will provide a seed financial support for the debates for each Africa society that is able and ready to organize the Mandela debate in the college earmarked to provide refreshment for debate and publicity.

Broad and active participation of wider community of students in debates
Mandela Africa Society Debate is conceived as a once or twice per year major Africa society debate event in each college. Attendance of both debating students and students from the wide college community has to be maximized by the organizers to ensure the debates get as big publicity and big audience as possible. For that to happen earlier preparation is important and the conducting of various building up activities to the main event of debate is important.

Building up activities to ensure the debate gets maximum attendance
It is important that Africa society and other organizers of the debate in college organize ‘build up’ activities to the main debate day.  These activities help to spread awareness of the debate in college but also will help the organizers get the speakers to compose the two debating teams. Such activities include conducting a survey to get the motion that will be debated, organizing mini-debate competitions to get the members of two teams (supporting and opposing) which will compete on the day. Instead of mini debate competitions  the organizers can organize audition events where students who want to take part in the debate can audition their speaking skill and those who emerge brilliantly will be the ones that will speak in the event. Also the organizing committee can prepare training sessions for debating which can involve not only the speakers in the debate but also anyone interested to acquire debating skills.  To attract large number of participants’ auditions can be done with help of a popular politician or any public figure known for their debating and public speaking skills. The same applies to training of speaking teams. This can be done with a prominent speaker. Great debaters from the debating society or any other member from the students, college stuff or from outside the college can be invited to train the speakers.

The first and Inaugural Mandela Africa Society debate in a college
As the Mandela debate will be done for the first time in college it will be important for ASAI and Africa societies to cooperate to make sure this debate set up high standard and expectation. Being the first debate it will be important to make this as inaugural debate, some suggestions- find a prominent personality within college or outside college to launch and officiate this debate. This can be the president of college, academic or research director and other personalities outside the college in wider society.

Supporters and sponsors of the debate
Mandela Africa Society debate series is supported by ASAI, as part of ASAI active citizenship and students’ leadership mentorship effort to enable students engage in debating issues of global justice, sustainable development and other related topics. Other sponsors who are interested to support these debates are welcome to do so to make these conversations even wider. Africa society leaders can also find other sources to sponsor the debate.

Prizes for debating competition
In order to reward competitors in the debate African students association of Ireland and Africa societies will arrange for prizes of winners of debates out sponsorship given or other sources. Prizes may be given for both intra-college debates but must be inter and intra -college debates overall winners.


African students Association of Ireland,
Mandela House,
44 Lower Gardiner Street
Dublin 1




+353 87 977 1965