RCE Minna 2015 Independence Day Debate Championship

RCE Minna brought together young school children to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary. The programme was organised in collaboration with the African Center for Extra-Curricular Research and Development (ACERAD) and the Young People for Africa Development (YPAD). The event was held at the Abdulsalam Youth Center Minna, Nigeria on 1st October, 2015.

The programme was aimed at bringing together school children and to give them a voice for the rights of young Africans in line with the Sustainable Development Goal ten (SDG10). The original idea was to introduce these young minds to the SDGs, to enhance their understanding and to provide them with a platform they can use to contribute to SDG10 within their own immediate community.

The essence of collaborating with these youth led NGOs is to direct their focus more on advocacy and on sustainable development. This is one method RCE Minna is using to encourage and mobilize youth in a more community approach to sustainable development in line with their primary objectives.


The debate championship brought together students’ from different schools. Specifically, three major schools from Minna, the Devine Excellence International Secondary School, the Royal Hilton College and the High Point International Secondary School were active participants at the event.

Following Nigeria’s national anthem, there were opening remarks by the Co-Founder and CEO of YPAD. He welcomed everyone to the event, and advised the young to always appreciate everyone's diversity and respect for other people’s opinion. The Coordinator RCE Minna Youth Network who delivered the Independence Message on behalf of the organisers centered his message around the call for African Children to rise above the challenges they face. He further highlighted some of the rights of African children. He called on the students and invited guest to participate in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Each school had three speakers each that either proposed or opposed the motion. During the debate some of the arguments raised focussed on the childrens rights in society, such as a right to education, life, good health, and open religion among others. However, the student’s wording, their logical presentation of points, appearance, charisma, confidence and ability to carry the audience along with them were used by the judges to score the schools performance.

Royal Hilton College came first with 74% followed by the Devine Excellence International Secondary School at 64%, and High Point International Secondary School coming third with 61%. Overall, Zahra Idris Panti of Royal Hilton College was the overall best debater.

Goodwill Messages

After, the presentation of awards and certificate there were goodwill messages from some of the guests at the event. Dr. Abdul Husain, the coordinator of RCE Minna expressed his gratitude about the turnout and level of preparation for this event by the RCE Minna Youth Network Team and any other collaborating youth organisations. He suggested to host this event twice in a year, and advised the students to be hardworking and focus on their education.

Dr. Osita Aniemeka of the International Center for Development Affaire (ICDA) asked the teachers on the method used in training the students for the debate, and asked them to give them better academic training. The Chairmanship Aspirant of the APC political party of Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger state, Nigeria, Alh. Abubakar Inuwa Scony, congratulated all on Nigeria’s Independence anniversary and appreciated the organisers effort to extend the invitation to him.

The programme was wrapped up with closing remark by ACERAD Founder/Chief of Party (COP), the national anthem and a group photograph.


Some of the outcomes of the conference include:

  • The Debate will now be an institutional concept of RCE Minna to bring together school children focussing on SDG4 and SDG10.
  • Participants will undergo leadership training at the RCE Minna resource centre.
  • Enhance and mobilise more youth for participation and partnership with special focus on the action number 4 of the GAP.
  • RCE Minna will have a gardening training for primary school children using the RCE demonstration garden.