Dec 2, 2008, 5:04 AM
The University of the Gambia school of Business and Public Administration last Thursday emerged as winners of a debate on the topic, "Women in Africa play a greater role in fighting hunger than men do."
Organised by the University of the Gambia Debating Association, in partnership with the US Embassy in Banjul, the debate, which kicked-off last year, was contested by 11 departments of the UTG.
Speaking at the final debate held at the UTG auditorium in Brikama, Barry L. Wells, US Ambassador to The Gambia said since the UTG Debating Association initiated its first televised debate, they have been actively pursuing academic goals and looking for ways to improve themselves. He commended the UTGDA and the UTG for their efforts to promote academic excellence in the student body and striving to improve the essential skills of oratory that will serve them throughout their lives.
"If you have seen the movie 'The Great Debaters,' there is no finer example of the importance of great debates. Debates have changed the face of history and influenced policy around the world. Whether you are debating to effect political change or simply voicing an opinion, the ability to influence others is a powerful tool," Ambassador Wells stated.
According to the US diplomat, the efforts of the UTG Debating Association to volunteer have not gone unnoticed.
"This year U.S. Embassy Banjul has successfully secured the nomination of Mr. Bernard Gomez, UTGDA President to attend a training workshop in the US on the importance of volunteerism due to take place next month," he added.
For his part, a representative of the Vice-Chancellor of the UTG applauded the US Embassy for their support, describing them as friends of the university. He added that the books donated by the US Embassy to the UTG would go a long way in helping students realise their dreams. He urged others to emulate the US Embassy.
The President of the UTG Debating Association, Bernard Gomez said this is the first of its kind his association has embarked on such initiative, while commending the US Embassy for their gesture.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the debate, the Chief Judge, Prof. Sidat Yaffa said their decision as judges is transparent and accountable, adding that they look into certain criteria in selecting the winners.