The Society of Public Speaking of the Senghor University (SAOS) and the Public Speaking club of the Centre d’Activités Francophones (CAF) of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (CAOCAF), both members of the International Network for the Promotion of Public Speaking in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, participated in the 4th edition of the International Championship of Frencophone and ArabophoneDebate at the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon, from 10 to 17 March 2019.
About the preparation of speakers
CAF candidates benefited from 10 preparation sessions led by CAF and INPAS instructors. It was at the end of these sessions, which appeared as structured debates that the four CAF representatives from Egypt were selected.
As for the SAOS candidates, only two preparation sessions were scheduled given the overloaded activities and the unavailability of some of them. Nevertheless, it should be stated that candidates used to participate in weekly debates organized by the SAOS. This is actually the main reason justifying their selection.
The outcomes of the performances
The assessment that can be drawn with regard to the participation of the delegation coming from Egypt is mixed . In fact, no candidate has been able to cross the elimination stage of the Francophone championship. As for the arabophone championship, Tarnima’T and Omneya reached the semi-final stage at the end of which Omneya Kandi performed well and represented the delegation at the arabophone final.
As far as the organisers are concerned, it is regrettable that they deliberated on the first phase in the absence of the judges. Moreover, there is no real training seminar for judges that can enable them to develop common-judging criteria before the beginning of the competition.
It was equally noted that the organizers did not comply with the agenda and communicated less, as compared to the last edition. Here we refer to communication on travel and accommodation modalities. This may be due to the fact that the organizing teams vary according to years. As for the participants, there was an insufficient preparation as they were generally divided between their classes and other activities.
The preparations should start earlier. Debaters from various clubs should compete in a mini-competition before the championship. African teams should participate collectively in order to be able to influence certain decisions making, hence the importance of establishing a partnership between Saint Joseph University and the INPAS. Participating in this competition was an enriching experience for all RIPAO speakers, who met other debaters from different backgrounds and experiences. Beyond the debate, new friendships were created between young people from the French-speaking and Arabic-speaking areas. Public speaking is therefore a cultural bridge between the people and civilizations of Africa and the world. We are looking forward to the 5th edition of the championship….