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

 

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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