ALAMAU 2019: A New Era, A New Team and Of Course, A NEW theme!

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By Moitse Kemelo Moatshe- Deputy Chairperson of ALAMAU 2019

It’s a new era and with every new era comes a new team and of course, an awesome theme.

In March 2018, we saw the close of our 5th Conference and the exit of the ALAMAU 2018 team. However, their exit did not stop the incoming team of fresh minds from diving into the hard work in making the next conference the best one yet.

As with every conference, we have an impactful theme to drive the discussions held within committee sessions.

During ALAMAU 2018, the discussions focused on how African countries can lay the right foundations to develop the continent and sustain the growth that will be achieved in the process.

With that in mind, and a few back-to-back meetings, our research team looked to answer the big question on everyone’s minds: What’s next?

 Our aim for this year’s theme is look in depth of the events happening around the continent following the laying down of new foundations. The focus will be on the progress we made as a continent and how African states can use this to influence each other on the most pressing issues. The team also looked into whether we can use the growth to predict the future: how can we measure the growth we can attain through addressing these key issues?

Without further ado, it is my privilege to announce the theme of ALAMAU 2019.

*Drum roll please*

ALAMAU 2019: Leveraging Africa’s Progress for Sustained Growth

In the past decade, Africa has made some notable indications of improvement across various sectors. A good example is the strengthening of the intra-continental trade by drafting of the African Continental Free Trade Area already signed by 44 African countries on 21st March 2018.  However, Africa is not only making waves economically but politically as well. In Botswana, youths are beginning to engage in policy making, democratic practices and governance. Recently, thirty-one-year-old Bogolo Kenewendo was appointed the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana, evidence of how the current generation is getting involved in African progress.

In ALAMAU 2019, the conversations will be centred on how Africa can use the progress it has previously made to improve other sectors.

The topics the conference will focus on are categorised into three main sectors: Economic Development, Social Welfare as well as Governance and Regulations. Our committee chairs are hard at work in researching to make them as engaging as possible.

Outside conference, please be sure to regularly check this blog bi-weekly for engaging posts that will give insight into conference preparation and the topics being discussed.

Also visit out our ALAMAU 2019 Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates.

As ALAMAU 2019, we welcome you to the Era. The era of Sustained Progress for Sustained Growth.

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The new staff members of ALAMAU 2019.

 

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The Deputy Chairperson of ALAMAU 2019, Moitse Kemelo Moatshe from Botswana.

Moitse Kemelo Moatshe is a first year student at the African Leadership Academy. She is currently ALAMAU 2019’s Deputy Chairperson. In preparation for the conference, she will be heading the Committee Chairs team and the Committee Dynamics team as well as the Press Corps.

Follow us on our Facebook Page- African Leadership Academy Model African Union
Instagram-@alamau2019
Twitter-@alamau2019

 

 

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A Cultural Awakening

Can you hear it? Can you feel it? It is the sound of joy and laughter. The wonderful giggles and chatters filling the room here to celebrate the things that bond us all together; our respective cultures.

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It is no tale that culture is one of the most important aspects of Africa. We see it around us. From our foods to our merchandise and finally to our fabrics, there is something about African culture that screams out to all of us. To celebrate this culture the ALAMAU events team comprising of Naa Shome Burgesson and Oluwademilade Ayeye, put up a cultural night where delegates were required to dress their best traditional attire. indeed everyone looked beautiful. The night was full of wonderful bone cracking performances. The ALA students put up a play entitled ‘Behind the Necklace’. The play left everyone’s funny bones aching. Surely, it was an awesome performance.

The night was a magical night. Different cuisines were served and we were given the challenge to try something new. The food was absolutely amazing and left our taste buds tingling with excitement. The band played the night away. As the music softened the mood, the people began to mingle and minds began to relax away from the committee session debates they had that day. Representatives of opposing countries came together and simply had a good time with good music, good food and good vibes.

By Janet Wavinya Mutua, Reuters correspondent 

 

Jobless Futures?

The press conference commenced with the delegate from my assigned committee, the African Commission on Science and Technology. I asked my delegate representing the Republic of Senegal a few questions of my own, to which he responded decorously. He elaborated on Senegal’s perspective on Technological Innovation in Africa to which he stated:“Though it is very beneficial to the African Continent, it has its drawbacks too”. He further elaborated that, one of such issues was the issue of job insecurity. The improvements in technology consequently lead to an influx of individuals into the labour market. As technology optimises activities which can be done by humans, it makes the work of the labour force redundant in the society. Factors like the introduction of Bitcoin and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that would cause unemployment in various sectors of the economy; primary, secondary and tertiary.

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In my opinion, technology was designed to make the work of humans less arduous. A wide range of tasks that seem burdensome to humans can now be done by machines. Subsequently, this cuts costs and increases production efficiency in the long-run, two goals firms and industries strive to attain. At this climax, unemployment becomes inevitable in the society. Throughout history, a lot of jobs have been phased out due to emerging technologies. This brings into question whether the degrees being attained by university students today will be useful after graduation. With the fast advancements in technology, will it be a waste of time for some graduates?

The questions that came about during the press conference only brought about more questions for myself and the audience that attended the session. With a maximum time of six minutes, it was quite difficult to effectively ask all these questions and holistically cover the perspective of technological innovation in Africa from the representative of Senegal. However, from the beginning to the end of the press conference, the diplomat gave me informative answers that left me even more curious than before. Even more, his confidence on his country’s stance on the topic complemented his words and statistics like a cherry on top of a cake.  I look forward to reading the passed resolution on Sunday. Until then, keep learning and keep debating!

Written by Uduak-Abasi Bassey, South African Broadcasting Corporation

No women, No way

As the session began, the air was thick with anticipation in Lecture room 10. Tensions were high in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development committee room as the delegates prepared themselves to present their opening speeches.
The delegates that stood out to me the most, however, were Kopala Kemgang the Delegate of Nigeria and Mtamanden Chatsala the Delegate of Rwanda.
The Delegate of Rwanda spoke with poise and confidence as he took the stand. He started his opening with the phrase, “To solve a problem, you must know the root”. In the context of the committee, he alluded to the fact that in order to achieve gender equality in Africa we must figure out the reason behind this inequality to start with. Practices such as marrying off young girls in countries like Kenya has affected their economic capabilities because they drop out of school rather than pursue their career goals. This minimises the number of women in the income-generating activities.

On the other hand, the delegate of Nigeria was quite explosive unlike the delegate of Mauritania who came across as calm and soft-spoken. Her voice demanded attention while her words cut deep into the subconscious minds present. As she began her speech with the opening, “A woman is an asset that should be treasured”. Which already said enough in itself.

No WomenIn closing, with the words of Kofi Atta Annan, “When women strive, all of society strives”. The goal for women to strive educationally across the continent is a grand essential for their empowerment. Without the freedom of education they would not be able to attain the skills needed to socially, politically, and economically develop our nation for the greater future.

Written by Jennifer Lubwama, African News Network

The Solicitous Beginnings

The first conference session has finally begun at the Executive Council! All delegates, like a gang of meerkats, are tensed on their seats, minds processing the words spoken by the Deputy Chairperson as he explains the rules and procedures. Thus, planting the seed of fear into certain minds and creating a backbone of confidence in others. Delegates pray silently they make a great first impression.

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Silence. Not a breeze comes from the mouths of the delegates as they think, and think endlessly about the committee’s topic: Bolstering Conflict Prevention Mechanisms to Tackle Legacies of Sectarian Violence. Wait, what is sectarian violence? A question each delegate asked themselves a month ago, when they sweat over their position papers. The Deputy Chairperson patiently explains it once again. Then the silence is shattered by a nervous addressing by the first spokesperson, the delegate of Guinea. Starting off shakily, while giving out the opening speech, the delegate of Guinea grasps confidence by its shoulders. And he starts smiling as he receives nods of acknowledgement from the rest of the committee. Then suddenly, like a beam of lightning, he is shot down by the delegate of South Africa. His smile vanishes. He takes a shuddering breath. The debates have begun!

By M Abdullah Kabir, Sky News correspondent

Celebrating life

In his opening remarks for the 5th session of the ALA 

dean hatimModel African Union, Mr Hatim Eltayeb, Dean of the African Leadership Academy, reflected on the significance of opening of the conference on the 58th anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre. On the 21st of March, South Africa commemorates the deaths of 69 unarmed protesters who lost their lives, along with over 180 others who were wounded in Sharpeville. This protest against the dompas–a booklet that prohibited the free movement of non-white South Africans–catalysed the fight for freedom and played a major role in eradicating division and racial disenfranchisement. If it were not for those brave souls, a gathering such as the ALAMAU would not be possible. At the opening ceremony, we acknowledged the sacrifice they made so that such a myriad of cultures, ethnicities, races and heritages could gather like we did tonight.

Human Rights Day is a step towards reconciliation. Reconciliation requires the acknowledgement of the pain of the past and this is done through days such these: by never forgetting those who gave up their lives so that we may live freely. Another vital aspect of reconciliation is celebration. The celebration of the prosperous future that is within our reach, of the lives we have, for the breath that we breathe. Life is a blessing to be celebrated. This is exactly what we experienced at the opening ceremony of the ALAMAU 2018. It was a celebration of life. The life that we get to live on this magnificent continent.

Moreover, many of the speakers emphasised the power of the youth. Mr Faith Abiodun, in particular, quoted from the walls of the African Leadership Academy, saying, “Young people can dream big and take action to change the world.” The future of the continent lies in the hands of the youth. This evening, over 250 delegates from around Africa, and the world gathered in a single room. That room was filled with impact waiting to happen. And everyone could feel it.

By Hannah Codrington, The Guardian correspondent

 

Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of Pre-conference Preparations!

With less than 24 hours to go until ALAMAU 2018 conference, you can feel the buzz of anticipation from all members of staff. Emotions range from excitement all the way through to anxiousness for the upcoming five days. So what has the team been up to for the past five days you may wonder? Here is an exclusive snippet of what the team has been up to.

Momoko Mandere, Deputy Chairperson (left) and Michelle Myambo, Director of Committee Dynamics (right), juggling ideas on what ‘Crisis!’ will look like.

The Dynamics team and the Deputy Chairperson came together last Friday night, to discuss and brainstorm the proceedings of what ‘Crisis!’ will look like this year. By the end of the session, we could hardly see any white on the whiteboard! Watch out delegates, a crisis is coming your way!

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Last ‘All Staff’ meeting!

The atmosphere was very warm and electric as the staff met for their last ‘All Staff’ meeting on Sunday afternoon. Emotions were high as the team watched a video sent from the ALAMAU 2017 team wishing them a successful conference. Followed by the opening of letters that the team wrote to themselves a year ago before the project started. Jokes were made, speeches were listened to and motivation was passed on from one member to another, as they all reflected on the year’s work and the work of the teams before them.

But what is happening as I type this exclusive update?

 

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Mubarak Adetunji, Chairperson (left) and Fridah Mbwaya, Director-General  (right), working on the final touches for the conference!

With approximately 21 hours to go until the conference, our Chairperson and Director-General work away to ensure that the last final touches are in place for the conference. There is a saying that goes, “Success is a result of hard work”. I think these two members of the core team bring a whole new definition of what hard work is.

The countdown continues and the hard work never stops! I hope you are ready for the conference because we are definitely ready for you!

Director of Press Corps, Sandra Chipeta

 

Hello, 2018 ALAMAU Staff Members!

Almost 2 weeks ago, 20 Year 1 Students (myself included), were integrated into the ALAMAU 2018 Staff and its respective committees for the upcoming conference this month. This was a remarkable day I could never forget. The cacophony of appraisals from the Director-General, Deputy Chairperson, Committee Chairpersons, Research, and Logistics Team from the call of my name as the new “Associate Director of The Press Corps Committee!

ALAMAU All Staff 2018

 

The memorable day was followed by engaging quizzes, in which we were divided into teams while members of the Secretariat (Mubarak, Obakeng, and Trevor), asked trivia-based questions on the MAU systems, history and statistics. This taught me more about the dynamics of ALAMAU’s extensive committees to the discourse settings and how the MAU experience continues to change over the years like the aging of wine. For the upcoming conferences in March, I believe they would be nothing short of excellence from the extraordinary efforts put by the staff, delegates, and attendees.

Post-Staff Meeting, I explored the idea of bringing the personality of the MAU faces closer to the delegates and MAU through a close interview with the Director-General and the Deputy Chairperson, Momoko Mandere and Fridah Mbwaya. This opened up amazing insights into their eccentric personalities, and how co-operation, teamwork and crisis issues are dealt with within the debates.

Over the course of the weeks, I have been working closely with the Director of Press Corps 2018 herself, Miss Sandra Chipeta, in making the Press Corps Committee a more sustainable conduit for information for our 2018 delegates. This year, we have been working immensely hard on establishing articles that bring insight to ALAMAU through the lens of writers and editors. During the conference, we hope to get exceptional insights of MAU from the delegates as well. Till then, do the three R’s! Research your countries, Read Parliamentary Procedures and Read the Position Papers.

 

Press Corps Team

 

Ciao!

Written by Associate Director of Press Corps, Temilolu Olamide Awofeso

Crisis!

26th March 2017.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—Thirteen heavily armed mercenaries storm the AU headquarters. A four-hour gun battle ensues bringing the capital to its knees. As the dust settles on the carnage, the country is abuzz with news of a high profile disappearance. The state-run media, though, in an attempt to allay the people’s fears, speaks of the attack in passing, praising the police force’s quick response. It is only hours later that the full extent of the damage is uncovered: the AU deputy chair, along with 7 of the 8 commissioners have been kidnapped. Those knowledgeable about the situation are quick to draw connections to the wave of Boko Haram insurgency spreading across the west of Africa that has been the recurrent matter of debate at the AU.

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Please close that tab you’ve opened to google “AU kidnapping” on. None of this actually happened.

But just imagine that it did. What would we do? You’re probably asking yourself why you would even care about a “problem” like this. I’ll explain why.

At ALAMAU, a crisis situation is given to delegates in the middle of committee sessions. The situation is usually related to the topic that the committee is tackling. As they come up with the solutions for the crises, they are expected to come up with long-term solutions that help deal with the problems they have been focusing on. This was the crisis presented to the Peace and Security Council at MAU 2017.

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The committee chose not to meet the terrorists’ demands for the release of the kidnapped officials. While planning a course of action for how to secure their release, Morocco was kind enough to remind them that they could use cybersecurity resources he had available to track down their location. Chad, who was from South Africa, was convinced that she had the best military in Africa and kept offering her services. But no one wanted it. There was a quiet general consensus that her military was, in fact, not the best.  The committee members eventually decided to harness the might of the AU forces to help in tracking down and rescuing the kidnapped officials. The simulation helped raise the committee’s awareness of the logistics that went into peace and security on the continent, eventually leading to a more defined resolution.

Flower Akaliza, who was on the Peace and Security Council as Deputy Chair thought that the crises “helped the delegates think more practically: bring the problem home so that they could actually see it. They had them thinking in a more action-oriented manner.” As the Director of Committee Dynamics this year, she is hard at work planning an indescribably unexpected set of crises. Her vision for the simulations is simple: “Less is more. More specific, spontaneous, different and out of this world. Problems that have never been seen before.” This approach, she hopes, will facilitate a deeper analysis of the complexities of problems being tackled at MAU 2018 and produce more practical resolutions.

You’re probably wondering, how do I prepare for the crises?

You don’t.

By Felix Morara, Associate Director of Press Corps

 

The ALAMAU Team’s Tips and Tricks to get YOU through Conference!

 

It’s no secret that being a delegate in a conference room for the first time or second time or fifth time can be daunting. You are surrounded by countless other eager delegates pushing forward their country’s interests.

The ALAMAU team understands what you are feeling, so we rounded up some of our team’s most experienced delegates from past ALAMAU and MUN conferences and asked them for a few tips and tricks about how to be the best delegate at ALAMAU 2018. Here’s what they had to say:

1.Listen as much as you Speak!

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There’s this saying that goes, ‘the best debater is also the best listener’. While it is great to debate, Flower Akaliza, Director of Committee Dynamics, advises that attentively listening in on caucus negotiations is the best way to effectively contribute to conversations in your committee. The speeches you formulate will also be more effective in contributing to the drafted resolution in order to solve the issue your committee is facing. So be attentive. Listen carefully to the remarks and speeches other delegates around you make. You never know how much of a difference you could make.

2. Just a little more Research goes a long way!

33687864855_4292654fa1_oYou know that great feeling you get when you walk into a class knowing you have a test but you know the stuff? That’s the power of research and preparation affecting your endorphins. So we did a little bit of research ourselves on things to do before you open that conference room door. Rahma Safraoui, Committee Chairperson of Peace and Security Council, informs us to make sure that you:

a) Have actively read the Study Guide and understand the topic thoroughly,

b) Know where your country’s interests lie,

c) Have communicated with your committee chair if anything is unclear.

These few things will allow you to genuinely be engaged in and out of caucus sessions. You will be well equipped and well informed to confidently discuss your point of view. Remember, confidence comes from thorough research and preparation.

3. Be a team player!

You will be coming to one of the most diverse conferences on the continent. You will 33368798040_76b02bc470_zmeet delegates with different mindsets and strategies, so why not take advantage of this to learn from other people through great collaborations? Collaborations will allow you to understand your ideas in relation to other delegates in your committee. It will allow you build solutions rooted in an understanding of diverse opinions and interests. I heard the Director of Administration, Obakeng Leseyane say, “a wasted idea is one that is never truly/deeply never explored.” Don’t waste a thought, collaborate! Two minds are better than one!

4. Take a Breather!

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Conferences can be stressful. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in heated committee sessions an hour after a work-filled night and a delegate will at some point agree with you then refute your ideas. It is in those moments that your ability to show respect for other delegates is really tested. ALAMAU is about the speeches and the negotiations in committee sessions but it’s also about the experience and memories you make. You only have five days to have life-changing conversations with amazing people you may not meet again, so take a deep breath and appreciate the company around you. Keeping a level head and taking a constant breath of fresh air will get you through conference!

By Sandra Chipeta, Director of Press Corps