ABUJA – The National Debates Groups in Africa agreed to set up “African Debate Network’’ on Friday.
The agreement was reached at the end of its two days “International Debate Best Practices Symposium’’ in Abuja.
Chief Taiwo Alimi, the Chairman, Executive Committee, Nigerian Election Debates Group (NEDG), described the decision as one of the overall consensus and passionate agreements taken from the symposium.
“It is a move toward strengthening democracy in Africa and democracy is what is essential toward development and good governance in the respective African countries,’’ he said.
Alimi said although some African countries were not conducting election debates, some were showing interest and making contact on how to establish election debate group in their respective countries.
“The African debate network will go a long way toward the establishment of election debate group in Africa continent. [eap_ad_1] “This will ensure that debates were organised to deepen and strengthen democracy in the continent,’’ Alimi said.
Mr Joab Chakaza, representing Malawi, also told NAN that the formation of the network was an indication that African countries were moving in the right direction.
Chakaza said that the network would help countries within the continent to learn from one another.
“There are problems that countries in Africa are facing in organising election debate; we should learn to share experiences.
“I think this is part of the effort in trying to consolidate democracy in Africa.
“We can always learn how a particular country surmounts a particular challenge as well as what worked and what did not work,’’ Chakaza said.
He described the symposium as a valuable experience for all countries that participated.
Ms Fyfy Osamba, representative of the Democratic Republic of Congo, said with the establishment of the network, African countries would be a step in the right.
“We will be better because we can assist each other. It is a very important thing for us. Without elections debate, democracy is not going to fly as much as we desire,’’ Osamba said.
Matt Dippell, a Deputy Director, Latin America and Caribbean Team, National Democratic Institute (NDI), also described it as a great initiative for Africa countries.
Dippell said election debate was one of the best ways to get voters informed on the choice of candidates in an election. (NAN)