22. YALDA Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit
In 2009, the YALDA International Headquarters introduced a mandatory branch-wide initiative: the YALDA Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit (IMAUS) in order to address one of the four themes or major target areas, discussed in Section 4.14 of the BAP. The specific target area the Model African Unions aims to address is increasing our members’ knowledge on Africa and African Development>. Again, the main objectives of this target area as described in Section 4.14 are to:
- Increase members’ knowledge on the different African countries history, politics, culture and socio-economic status (especially those countries where there are currently YALDA branches).
- Help members acquire the relevant information on what development means to different people (Professors, students, governments etc), Africa’s development problems and proposed solutions, particularly focusing on youth and the African Youth Charter.
Moreover, the YALDA IMAUS keynote speakers are either former African Heads of State or current Heads of State. This gives YALDA members the unique opportunity to interact with their African leaders in a safe environment that is non-confrontational. We have received great positive from the past IMAUSes that YALDA has held including the one hosted at Oxford University at the Rhodes House that was attended by former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire and former President of Ghana, John Kufour and former Head of the opposition of South Africa, Dr. Mamphele Ramphele.
At YALDA we have been working on encouraging our branches to actively engage in learning about the continent through various means. However, we feel that using a YALDA-wide initiative, such as YALDA IMAUS, in addressing the target area specified above would be more entertaining and exceptionally exciting while helping garner more support among young people. Moreover, through the involvement and support of the African Union youth desk, YALDA is officially recognized as the organization that holds Model African Union at different university campuses around the world
- Increase YALDA members’ knowledge and awareness on the history and current affairs of African continent and structures of the African Union.
- Stir members’ interest in various activities happening around Africa and help propel them into jumpstarting their own initiatives to address issues discussed during IMAUS.
- Increase unity among YALDA members and branches through sharing of experiences and outcomes of YALDA IMAUS.
- Retain and increase YALDA membership at each branch.
- Position YALDA as an international organization endorsed by the African Union.
- Hold one Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit every year in a specific African country, hosted by a YALDA branch.
- Engage YALDA members to actively participate in learning and researching more about other African countries, other than their own, and structures of the African union through the various media available to them in their communities.
- Offer young people another platform where they can discuss ideas and opinions on various issues regarding the continent.
- YALDA International and an identified host branch will hold a Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit every year, preferably between the months of January and June. All members of a branch will be mandated to participate in their branch’s YALDA Model AU, involvement of non-YALDA members is left to the prerogative of the respective branch.
- Teams of 2 students/members (or more if numbers allow) will be set up to represent an African country (for example, if we have all 54 African States represented and teams of two people each, we are looking at 106 students/members participating).
- Students/members, where possible, shall not be allowed to represent a country where they or their parents hail from.
- All countries where there is a YALDA branch on the continent must have compulsory representation.
- If there are not enough members to represent all the 54 African States, then the branch must ensure that at least all the countries where we have branches are represented. It is important for branches to remember that they can have a IMAUS with only 20 members etc., the size of the IMAUS depends on the size of your branch.
- Other students/members will form different structures of the African Union Commission; ideally this will be the Conference Planning Committee though the Branch Executive Board members, the Events and Planning Committee can also be involved as the AU Commission. This Model African Union Commission will be responsible for organizing the IMAUS as well as participate as would be done by the real AU Commission members. They must actively research the structures and get accurate information to all YALDA members, presented in whatever format they find most compelling, on how these structures operate, or even hold presentations leading up to the Summit.
- During the years when we have the YALDA conference, the country that will be hosting the YALDA Biennial i-Boot Camp shall be exempt from organizing a IMAUS. Though if they feel they have the capacity, they can organize IMAUS as well.
- Funding: >It is important to understand that the target audience for IMAUS is all YALDA members (though branches are free to invite non-members to participate as countries or spectators). YALDA Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit should require minimal funding, but this also depends on how big and extravagant the branch wants to make it. Recommendations for what types of items are needed to host a successful Model African Union are below:
- Estimated Total Costs $0.00:
- Research costs: $0.00. YALDA members should use the internet, local libraries, embassies etc to do their research on the AU and their countries. They may also use the YALDA network to find out information.
- The branch should find a room big and suitable enough on campus to hold the event so that they do not incur any venue hire expenses.
- Certificates for Participants and Winners: $0.00. Certificates will be given to all participants and additional ones given to those people who win and including award categories. These will have the African Union emblem and the relevant signatures of the dignitaries of the real African Union Commission.
- Potential Additional Costs (not necessary to have a successful Model African Union):
- Apart from certificates, YALDA may wish to give winners additional prizes and even trophies. This would mean the branch would have to seek sponsorship or funding. In the past some awards included internships and scholarships.
- Food and drinks: $?. If a branch would like snacks, food and drinks then they might want to see if the school catering company can assist or to seek sponsorship.
- Paraphernalia: $?. If a branch would like t-shirts, caps, pens, bags, notebooks and other paraphernalia for the Summit, then the branch would need additional funding.
- Other Expenses: $?. Any other additional expenses depend on how big and extravagant the branch wants to make this learning experience.
- Estimated Total Costs $0.00:
- The International Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit Commission will set a date and book an on-campus venue for the IMAUS. They must also ensure that teams are selected to represent countries and that a clear agenda for the Summit with the theme is distributed.
- There is an operating handbook >developed for the IMAUS that will be sent to all teams with more details, than the ones provided here.
- The Summit is recommended to be two days or more during the weekend or a school holiday etc., depending on the day(s) that work for the YALDA international ommunity.
- Knowing the real theme of the African Union Summit taking place that year, then the teams will do general research on their assigned countries and also on issues facing that country around that theme. Also, they will look at the policies of that country and see how the country is addressing the theme; the question teams must ask themselves is: is the country making progress in addressing the thematic area? Teams must then draft suggestions for the country in a paper. Also, teams must ensure they research their countries history, current politics, economics, etc., outside of the Summit theme beforehand.
- Once the teams have been selected and assigned the country they will represent, they should be given 1 to 2 months to do their research and submit their Summit statements to the Model African Union Commission team.
- IMAUS organizers can set up some sort of system/check points to keep the teams engaged. For example, Model AU Commission can have participants do presentations on history or another issue related to the country leading up to the actual event. The participants can also be matched up with mentors and/or students from the respective countries they will be representing. The IMAUS Commission may want to provide workshops/dinners during the months leading up to the event. The system/check points accumulated leading up to the IMAUS, together with points gained at the Summit can be used to determine the winning teams.
- On the day of the Summit the IMAUS Commission will guide the agenda for the day(s). All the country representatives will come together to debate around the theme, keeping in mind the view point of their countries and NOT their own views. They will also discuss how best to address the issues raised. To add to the fun, country representatives can also be asked to try as best as they can to dress in the attire of the country which they are representing (though not compulsory).
- Following the IMAUS, the IMAUS Commission will decide how best to select the countries that performed extraordinarily well looking at their papers, any presentations leading up to the Summit, including their live performance and discussion during the Summit. It is also important that the ‘judges’ also judge performance based on how well the team represented the real country. The winning teams will be presented with certificates; any prizes the branch wishes to award will be left to the discretion of the respective branches.
- Following the Summit a report will be produced with the resolutions to be sent to the African Union and shared with participants, partners and sponsors.