SFL – Great Lakes – a platform which groups together SFL clubs in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – organized competition events in universities in the countries to promote the project called “How to eradicate the barriers of prosperity and opportunity.” This project, with support from Network for a Free Society seeks to promote the ideas and institutions of a free society as a tool for eradicating the barriers to prosperity and opportunities through intra- and inter- university quiz competitions in these target East African countries.
On July 19, 2017, a competition took place at the Catholic University of Bukavu with 87 participants, On July 26, 2017, SFL ISTEM organized its competition at the Higher Institute of Medical Technology with over 40 participants, On July 28th, 2017, students of the Free University of Uvira and the Great Lakes (ULUGL) had theirs with slightly over 50 participants. On 30 July 2017, SFL ISDR GOMA organized a competition session at the Goma and Great Lakes Rural Development Institute with about 60 participants in attendance. The winners got various prizes such as CDs, books, school materials and T-shirts. A capacity building seminar was organized in Burundi around the theme of the project and plans are underway to organize similar competitions in Rwanda.
Also, in the process, new SFL clubs were formed in DRC, namely: SFL Istem, SFL Bukavu (Catholic University of Bukavu) SFL ULUGL (Free University of Uvira and the Great Lakes) and SFL ISDR GOMA.
On the 15th of July at the Uganda Christian university, the 2017 ASFL – Uganda Leadership Forum brought together local coordinators, chapter leaders, and free market advocates in the country. The forum broadened the knowledge base of SFL leaders about liberty and free market with speakers from Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania who took the participants through several topics. Some lecturers of entrepreneurship and political science of the school also participated in the forum.
Pro-liberty students at the Oke-Ogun Polytechnic in Saki, Oyo State, Nigeria organized a tabling in the school to create awareness about liberty and to educate interested students about the organization and its activities. This tabling which took place on the 5th of July is the first libertarian event in the school, and several students stopped by to interact with the organizers and other participants on various topics of interest.
On July 14, some ASFL leaders in Eastern Africa were present at the Great Lakes Trade Summit hosted by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists Europe (ACRE) at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda. The leaders in attendance were from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Eritrea. This summit was a gathering of think tanks, politicians, government officials, business leaders and Individuals, to champion Free Trade as a means of alleviating poverty and improving the lives of people in Eastern Africa. African Programs Manager Linda Kavuka made a presentation at the Think Tank Central Session about the role Students for Liberty is playing in promoting free trade, by identifying, training and developing the next generation of leaders of liberty around the world. Also SFL had a stand at the event, where resources were displayed and leaders interacted with the participants of the summit, highlighting SFL activities in the region.
Students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Nigeria and participants from other universities gathered for the Ideas of Liberty Colloquy which was conveyed by Local Coordinator, Nathaniel Luz on Saturday, July 29. The colloquy took place at the Conference Room of the Students Union Building and it featured five speakers and sixty-one students. The speakers at the event were Afrikanus Kofi Akosah, Stephen Oyedemi, Lilian David, Mishal Kennedy, and Nathaniel Luz. Winners in the quiz session of the event went away with prizes including books, CDs and money in bitcoin (courtesy of Africa Blockchain University). Victor Olatunji (VEESAX) thrilled the audience to an awesome musical performance at the end of the event.
ASFL Kenya team attended governorship debates in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa. A highlight of the debates was at the Nairobi debate, aired live on NTV, a popular TV station in Kenya with millions of viewers, where ASFL Board member, Linda Kavuka was given an opportunity to ask the aspirants a question. This can be accessed here between 40:00 and 42:00.
Also, youth ambassadors of the Caravan of Liberty facilitated governorship debates together with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers . The debates were hosted between 29th June 2017 and 14th July 2017. Although seven political debates were to be hosted, only four were eventually hosted.