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KNUST Debate Society secures sixth championship title

Thu 7 Mar 2024
Members of the KNUST Debate Society with their trophies in a group photo with the Vica Chancellor, Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson (Front row,  fourth from right), the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo (Front row, third from right) and other management members. i

Debate championships remain one of the many academic fora through which academic institutions and nations hone their rhetorical prowess.

Known globally as one of the best universities for science and technology education, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has proven beyond the physical and applied sciences to become the unparalleled champion in Ghana in terms of debate championships.

Through its critical thinking gallantry and persuasive eloquence, the KNUST Debate Society has triumphed beyond Ghana and across Africa to secure a first runners-up position in the World Universities Debate Championship (WUDC).

To its credit, The KNUST Debate Society hosted and secured its sixth championship title during the ninth Ghana Universities Debate Championship (GUDC) in 2023 with its contestant Kwadwo Opoku Acheampong being acclaimed the coveted title of the tournament's best debater.

In Togo, Umuhairu Alhassan and Prosper Michael Ametu clinched victory at the Pan-Africa Universities Debate Championship, underscoring KNUST its fourth championship title.

At the global stage in Vietnam this year, Kelvin Damptey and Kojo Acheampong propelled KNUST to the finals, securing a notable position as first runners-up at the World Universities Debate Championship (WUDC), a testament to the university's ascendancy in the international debating arena.

In a glamorous ceremony to present awards and awardees at the various championships to the University management, Kelvin Kwabena Asamoah Damptey, an ESL Finals Best Speaker, Pan African Finalist and World Public Speaking Champion underscored the experiences that birthed the successes for the university.

“Not to highlight my achievements but that of KNUST in general, I am a finalists in many competitions and the only Ghanaian to appear in all national finals. This is not about the talent but the coaching we receive just to ensure that we keep the standards. On the outside people think because KNUST has achieved a lot probably the school has a hammer always hitting ahead to always keep winning in all competitions but it the training and the approach we have that if we win it’s fine but if we don’t we do our best for KNUST.

It is sad that we didn’t win the championship but ended as first-runner up even though I was the best speaker of the competition but the challenge lies in our accent and training. In international competitions, the judges find it difficult to hear and understand what we are saying because of our accent but this feat on the world stage means that we have improved over the years. For an average 20-year-old western debater, he or she has debated for at least 10years. These debaters started training when they are as low as 5 years. For KNUST, many of us start when we get into the university campus and even with that we have used just some few years with student coaches to achieve these feats which means we can do better if we start training our debaters earlier enough”, Kelvin Kwabena said.

While receiving the trophies and medals from the society, KNUST Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson lauded the team for the successes chalked.

“We are thrilled beyond measure. Management is very proud of you all. We cannot put a premium on how we feel about what you have done. What as students of the university keep telling management and the whole country is that you are out for excellence despite the challenges you face.

Fundamentally what you have done is that you have showcased to the world that nothing is impossible for you. Be reminded that you are an agent of change and you can take the world to wherever you want to take it to so say no to impossibilities”, she expressed her pleasure.

Prof. Akosua Dickson challenged the society to continuously aspire for excellence.

“You have raised the marking the scheme over the years in the country, the continent and even globally but what is ahead demands more sacrifice and commitment. We acknowledge your challenges and we will continue to provide the needed support as management so you are unstoppable. Not even the sky is your limit. But remember, to whom much is given, much is expected”, she said.

Source: Issah Zakariah/Akoma fm/