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27 Mar, 2024

By Mancoba Mabuza

In a bustling departure on March 20th, 2024, a spirited contingent of 22 students from Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa's Model United Nations (MUN) Club embarked on a transformative journey. Accompanied by four devoted staff members, led by the dedicated Mrs. Millicent Dlamini-Muyambo, the group set its compass for Johannesburg, South Africa, to partake in the 11th African Leadership Academy Model African Union (ALAMAU) Conference.

ALAMAU is not just any conference; it is a dynamic convergence of young minds gathered to discuss the myriad issues confronting the African continent. From the fundamental pillars of education and health to the frontiers of technology, climate change, and governance, ALAMAU serves as a crucible for shaping future leaders and diplomats.

At its core, ALAMAU functions as a simulation of the African Union, offering participants a unique opportunity to delve into the inner machinations of continental governance and diplomacy. Preparing to don the hats of African leaders, delegates immerse themselves in the complexities of international relations.

In a poignant pre-conference missive to delegates and faculty advisors, the ALAMAU 2024 Chairperson, Innocent Augustine Kalimba, illuminated the conference's illustrious past. Over the span of a decade, ALAMAU has unified over 1,400 delegates, representing 71 institutions across 59 countries. It is a mosaic of global perspectives converging under one roof.

"Our conference," remarked Kalimba, "is designed to nurture young leaders and aspiring diplomats through meaningful debates guided by diplomatic procedure simulating the African Union (AU). Delegates get to interact with and learn from diplomats and other delegates from different parts of the world who share diverse perspectives on various continental and global issues,”

Under the banner, "A Youth-driven Continent, Pioneering a New Era," the 2024 conference set out to ignite a flame of proactive engagement among its delegates. With Africa poised on the cusp of a sustainable new era, the theme was a clarion call to action, urging youth to be architects of change.

Within the hallowed halls of ALAMAU, delegates engaged in fervent discussions, dissecting the myriad challenges facing Africa. From bustling committee sessions to the solemn deliberations of the Assembly of Heads of State & Government, each moment was infused with a sense of purpose and possibility.

Reflecting on her maiden voyage at ALAMAU, IB2 MUN student Head Mukelwe Hlatjwayo expressed unabashed enthusiasm: "This was my first time, and I relished every moment of the conference. I've learned more than I could have imagined."

The fruits of Waterford Kamhlaba's labour were bountiful, with the team clinching an impressive seven awards. Abigail Ochanda (IB2) received the Best Speaker award; Sai Mohandas (Form 3) and Siphesihle Nkambule (Form 4) got Best Position Paper award; Honourable Mention award went to Siviwe Mashinini (IB1) and Panashe Waeni (IB2); Best Journalist Interviewer award was received by Teona Njoroge (IB2) and Mukelwe Hlatjwayo (IB2) got the Ubuntu award which is awarded to a delegate that demonstrated compassion and effective diplomacy in the policies they proposed and debated throughout the conference. All students received certificates of participation. 

Speaking in the glow of success, Mrs.Dlamini-Muyambo effused pride in her students' accomplishments: "The conference was an unequivocal triumph, and our haul of seven awards is a testament to the dedication and diligence of our delegates. we commend every one of them for their unwavering commitment to excellence."

As the echoes of ALAMAU fade into memory, the legacy of Waterford Kamhlaba's triumph lingers—a testament to the power of youth, diplomacy, and collective endeavour in shaping the destiny of a continent.

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