African Union Hall crowned Champions in Freshers Debate Championship

African Union Hall have been crowned champions of the 2022 Inter-Hall Freshmen Debate Championship.  Joel Aboagye and Afi Emenyo Nutakor representing African Union in the Debate Category distinguished themselves among their peers throughout the Championship to win the coveted trophy.

The competition, which saw its last edition held online due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, returned with much anticipation and pomp with many speakers eager to find out who takes over as Debating Champions from Jean Nelson Hall and Public Speaking Champions from Jubilee Hall.


This year’s competition saw a huge participation from students representing their respective halls in a bid to win laurels in debate, public speaking and adjudication categories. In all fifty six (56) speakers and forty (40) adjudicators participated in the debate category while sixty three (63) speakers and ten (10) judges competed in the public speaking category.

Training and Preparation

Preparation towards the tournament took off at the start of the semester with lectures, assignments and supervision from the Debate Coach, Mr. Lawrence Nii Kotey Neequaye who worked closely with the executives to ensure proper orientation and smooth transition into tertiary debating for all new members. The mentor-mentee hall training system was also in full flight with experienced debaters who took the same path of competing in the freshmen debate years ago, serving as designated mentors for the various halls of residence. This system decentralised the training process and served as a reinforcement for the mainstream training sessions led by the coach.

Mr. Elisha Owusu-Akyaw, President, UG Debate Society

The President of the University of Ghana (UG) Debate Society, Mr. Elisha Owusu-Akyaw who doubled as coach for African Union Hall asserted that the championship was the most competitive the Society has witnessed so far. All participating halls put in the maximum effort and it showed in how close the calls were for both debate and public speaking rounds, he added. Mr. Owusu-Akyaw believes the Society is off to an excellent start for the new year with all the new recruits; they are ready to win and make the name of UG proud in subsequent championships; whether local or international.

Awards and Recognition

The finalists in the final round of Public Speaking delivered speeches in response to different scenarios ranging from a death-bed speech from the former Prime Minister Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to a social media influencer addressing followers through a live session. At the end of the seven speeches, Michael Etrue from Legon Hall emerged as the Public Speaking Champion with Joel Aboagye (African Union Hall) and Dzifa Abotchie-Agbanu (Legon Hall) being adjudged 1st and 2nd Runners up respectively. The top two judges’ awards for the public speaking category went to Kenneth Lamptey (Mensah Sarbah Hall) as Best Judge and Odjao Clement Odjidja (Commonwealth Hall) as 2nd Best Judge.

Mr. Michael Etrue, Public Speaking Champion

In the Debate category, Legon, Mensah Sarbah, African Union and Hilla Limann Halls engaged in an intense debate final. In an unsurprising first, the African Union Hall team made up of Joel Aboagye and Afi Emenyo Nutakor emerged as the winners with teams from Hilla Limann and Legon Halls placing 1st and 2nd runners up respectively. The Best Adjudicator for Debate category was Joseph Dzifa (African Union Hall). The 2nd and 3rd Best Adjudicators were Gabriel Apatewen Ankasiba (Commonwealth Hall) and Julia Lamptey (Alexander Kwapong Hall) respectively

Miss Afi Emenyo Nutakor, Debate Champion

Miss Afi Emenyo Nutakor of African Union Hall shared her experience and excitement in winning her first debate trophy.

“As a debate enthusiast who is still trying to find feet in public speaking and communication, winning freshers is a great sign of hope that I will be able to overcome all my public speaking fears and be well grounded in public speaking if I commit to working extremely hard to improve as a speaker. The journey was tough. I saw myself improve right from the educative and engaging training sessions we had through to the last round of the championship. I am sure the UG Debate Society is the right place for me and will be highly instrumental in shaping my path to becoming a lawyer.”

The Inter-Hall Freshmen Debate Championship has over the years served as the final rite of passage to usher in new debaters into the University Debate Society and to equip them with the skills and mindsets necessary to contribute to growing social discourse on various topics. The competition followed the British Parliamentary format and allowed debaters to speak in support of or against topics of great societal interest.