The European Union partnered with the Institute for Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) over the past 2 months to conduct the first Accountancy Students Debates in Malawi, culminating in the semi-finals and finals on 02-03 May in Lilongwe. It was a scintillating event, where the accounting students put up another sensational show for these two days of the debate series. This has been an amazing journey, starting with four regional debates, where two schools each participated from the Southern, Eastern Central and Northern regions of Malawi.
The students debated energetically under the theme; enhancing transparency & accountability through professionalism & standards. Participating schools included: PACT College and Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA-Blantyre) from the Southern Region; TEEM Development Centre and Zomba Institute of Management and Accountancy from the Eastern Region; Don Bosco College and K & M School of Accountancy from the Central Region and from the Northern Region Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA-Mzuzu) and Mzuzu Technical College were participating. The debaters were assessed by judges from the public and private sector as well as academia, who were entrusted to decide which team was the more persuasive, assertive and convincing one.
After concluding the regional debates, four teams faced off in the semi-finals in Lilongwe: PACT College for the Southern Region; Zomba Institute of Management and Accountancy for the Eastern Region; K & M School of Accountancy for Central Region and Malawi College of Accountancy for the Northern Region. Each of the teams put up an excellent show, ensuring that the judges had a difficult afternoon deciding who the two finalists would be. Nonetheless, after two intense debate sessions, the two competing final teams were PACT College from Blantyre and Malawi College of Accountancy from Mzuzu.
The next morning the stage was set for the final show-down between the two schools. The initial energy seen during the semis was replicated again in the finals as the two teams brought out their very best. The debaters of both teams were captivating and excellent, worthy of the finalists.
After a fascinating encounter, the judges were convinced that PACT College from Blantyre was the exceptional side and carried the day. At the award ceremony, the four competing teams received their respective medals; in addition, the winner PACT College Blantyre, was awarded a cheque amounting to MK700, 000 and the runners-up Malawi College of Accountancy Mzuzu, received a cheque to the tune of MK300, 000.
This has been a wonderful experience engaging the youth studying accounting on various issues that concern the development of Malawi. Mr. Lluis Navarro, Head of Cooperation, remarks: "We thought it wise to organise these debates in order to encourage accounting students to discuss the role they would play in upholding qualified standards when they venture into different industries.”
The European Union congratulates the accounting students from all the institutions for taking part in this accountant's student debate and for their outstanding performance. The European Union hopes, that these debates will help to embody confidence, leadership, greater courage and determination.