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Ugandan wins global debating challenge

Waiswa Center (second from right) with fellow contestants after winning the debate

Ali Waiswa, a former student of Kabale Institute of Health Science (KIHS) was chosen as the Best Strategist of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2019 conference held in Nepal recently.

Waiswa was chosen by a panel of judges from among 500 Rotaract delegates that attended the conference held in Pokhara, Nepal between  August 24 and 27 2019.

The Rotaract Model United Nations conferences are regular conferences that offer young people with a platform to increase their awareness and devise solutions to world problems the way such challenges are tackled by the United Nations.

The conference promotes sharing of knowledge of international affairs, research, understanding of parliamentary procedures, analytical reasoning, problem solving, professionalism in negotiation, oral and written presentation of ideas.

The ‘Best Strategy’ is an overall award that is given to the best delegate who expresses exceptional performance in being analytical, critical thinking, integrative and comes up with efficient and effective plans for implementation of strategies during a debate that is organized in the course of the conference.

Waiswa says that despite being the only African at the conference, he managed to defy his minority status to stage a rousing performance.

“At the beginning, I stumbled after realizing that the conference was going to be debate-oriented something I hadn’t anticipated at all”

Waiswa notes however that he managed to conquer his fear by recollecting and standing firm. He attributes his success to his use of statistical evidence on the subjects of ‘Internet as a Human Right’ and Child Abuse, to emerge that best delegate.

“I expressed my points accompanied with statistical evidence and publication while supporting a motion.

He adds: “I could also intervene and strengthen other delegate’s points, add more light on theirs with written evidence, research and articles which left my points stronger than for my competitors.”

Besides a gold medal, Waiswa received three certificates for participation, certificate of Excellency and Best dancer and as well as a presidential gift.

“The council agreed that my outstanding performance made them look forward to giving Uganda a chance to host the next Rotaract Global Model United Nations conference, and I was sent to talk it over with the Government. I was also given a package for his excellence the President of the Republic of Uganda,” Waiswa excitedly noted.

Difficult road to Nepal

Waiswa says that traveling to Nepal was a tortuous journey after his father had to sell a piece of the family land in order to raise money for the flight ticket and hotel accommodation.

“My father sold his piece of land in Nabidonga (A) village, Iganga Municipality in Iganga district to help me travel and secure a hotel room as well as cover registration. This is after the government had turned me down.”

The Sunrise contacted Waiswa’s father Mzee Isa Waiswa, and confirmed that he sold his plot of land to cater for his son’s journey.

“I sold my land of size (50×100) Nabidonga (A) village, Iganga Municipality at UGX30M because he needed UGX36M for the whole trip,” said Mzee Waiswa in a telephone interview.

Justifying why he decided to let go of such a valuable asset, Mzee Waiswa said:

“My son is loyal and submissive that is why I even surrendered my land on his behalf to go attend the conference,” said the old man.

What next

Waiswa says that his focus now is to persuade the Ugandan government to host the Rotaract MUN debate-oriented system in all high schools.

“My plans are to initiate the Model of United Nations Debate Oriented System in all High schools, vocational institutions and Universities so that the skills I acquired can be shared and used to impact on the life of the youth, and the whole country at large,” he said

 

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