Speech and debate is an academic activity typically available to students in middle school, high school, and/or college. Similar to athletic sports, speech and debate activities are challenging, competitive in nature, and require regular practice, coaching, dedication, and hard work. Speech involves a presentation by one, two, or sometimes a group of students that is judged against a similar type of presentation by others in a round of competition. Speech events range from limited preparation events that require extensive knowledge of current events to dramatic and humorous interpretation, which challenge students to find powerful moments in literature and recreate them for an audience. Each event in speech and debate features a different form of public speaking and requires a unique skill set and talent.
The Appreciate Africa Network (AAN), established in 2013 with a sole purpose to create awareness about Africa, African people and their culture, noted that some African youth especially based here in Asia were now lying about their nationalities and pretending to be non‐Africans all to try and get jobs as it is difficult to get a job if you are African. The message that AAN sends the youth is Appreciate yourself and the world will appreciate you. For other nations to appreciate us as Africans we have to take pride in being Africans and not shaken by stereotypes hence organizing the speech contest to teach people out there about the true and real Africa that the world never talk about. While our organization has been growing over the years, our mission is more relevant today than ever before.
What’s The Discover Africa Speech Contest All About?
The Africa Speech contest aims to provide African communities in China to reconnect with their heritages while encouraging others to discover the beauty of African countries, and of course provide invaluable opportunities for multi‐arts collaboration and involving artists, students, and business people and so on. It’s a night to celebrate and embrace African Culture through music, dance, fashion and food. Each represented African country has the opportunity to showcase to the world what they are capable of and who they really are not how the media depicts them.
AAN: Giving the world the exposure of what Africa is really like. The Discover Africa Speech contest is open to tertiary education students and is a unique opportunity to research, write, and present a 3‐5 minute speech in front of an audience mostly made up of non‐Africans and Africans who by the end of the speech they should be able to know where in Africa each country is, their culture and what opportunities can be found in that country. The students with the best speech and presentations will be crowned winners of the competition.
The winning Students of the Discover Africa Speech Contest will become a part the Young African Brand Ambassadors Association (YABAA). A voluntary association made up of students working as their country’s brand ambassadors in Pacific Asia.
What do students gain from participation?
By researching, writing, and delivering a speech on Africa, the young men and women — and their audiences (faculty, family, friends, and AAN members) — acquire a greater understanding of the role that their background plays. The contest also provides an incentive for the development of communication skills that will be so vital to them upon entering the workforce or furthering their education. Certainly, the rewards and the experience itself will help winning students to go on to become more eloquent African leaders in their societies or otherwise fulfill their dreams as they get noticed and scouted by potential helpers in relating fields of study and/or career. The contest is based on three levels of competition: traditional attire, use of language, and the content of the speech. These are aligned with the obligations of AAN. Each contest level is under the direction of a contest director who is responsible for coordination of all activities. These levels are combined and awarded one mark.
How are the students judged?
ANN reaches out to a team of academics, journalists, business people, and members of the diplomatic corps as well as authentic, experienced and well traveled tourists, to aid in the critical judging area and recommends that all levels of competition be judged by the members of that criterion. All speeches must adhere to the general theme of Africa and African countries that will be represented and must be submitted to the contest director prior to the contest.
50% of the total points are awarded for content
30% of the total points are awarded for tradition attire
20% of the total points are awarded for language and delivery
This year’s competition is scheduled for the 24th of September 2016 in Beijing China