Uganda Martyrs University this week voted in their new Union President, His Excellency Raymond Jjagwe in an election that saw the entire University get involved. Elections of this caliber in the Universities here in Uganda involve students writing down their manifestos, convince the students in open air campaigns and thereafter prove their convincing ability in a Presidential Debate where they take on the floor to defend their manifestos with all the other candidates.
In the process that takes a period of about three weeks, it is majorly the students ability to speak that gives them an edge in the race. For the past two years, we have held the University Debate Camp at Uganda Martyrs University in Nkozi. In 2016, Raymond Jjagwe was a member of the Debate Association at the University who was actively involved in the leadership trainings that we held during the camp. During this year, we took notice however of his zeal and passion for leadership especially
by the way in which he supported the Debate Camp Activities as a student. With the University Debate Camp, the organization endeavors to work with students in the process of organization as a way of building their capacity in leadership.
The University Debate Camp is a core initiative of Open Space Centre held every year to develop and test the brains of the now generation no longer the future generation. This brings together students from various Universities to discuss, analyze, articulate national issues and come to a consensus. During the Debate Nationals, students undergo a training on debate, argumentation
and public speech which then gives them the confidence to compete and hence find a winner among
winners who takes the trophy of the Ultimate Debate Experience home. As part of the core activities of this Camp, we hold a Leadership Training where we have an expert on leadership come in and share knowledge on how the university students can better position themselves for leadership while still at their universities. In 2016, it was Mr. Ram Hadji, former President of AIESEC Uganda who facilitated this session at the Camp. Present at this training and the subsequent Debate Trainings in the British Parliamentary style of Debate was Raymond Jjagwe. In the following year, 2017, the Camp was also held at Uganda Martyrs University owing to the great hospitality that the University had accorded us the year before.
When we returned, Raymond was the President of the Debating Club at the time and he was also one of the top debaters of that year which saw his team make it all the way to the semifinals of the tournament. It is in this year that his leadership abilities were put on the frontline as well juggled excelling as a debater in the tournament and also supporting in the organization of the tournament
as the President of the Debate Club of the University. Raymond Jjagwe has over the years perfected his art of debate and leadership and it was surely no wonder that this year he has been elected to the University Top Office.
As an organization, our mission is to broaden space and opportunities for young people to unlock their full potential through debate and leadership skills enhancement. Such life stories of people such as His Excellency Raymond Jjagwe who have through our programs enhanced their potential and embraced leadership, are a pat on the back for progress in our endeavor. In His own words, His Excellency reiterated that for his victory, 'Debate was the most powerful thing that gave him the winning edge. The students could very easily trust a debater in the matters of leadership'
We look forward to working with the Union President through his term. The University Debate Program is supported by the National Endowement for Democracy.