A delegation of seven undergraduate students representing the University at the 18th Annual Southeast Model African Union (SEMAU) simulation in Clayton State University, have won “Best Delegation Award.” The UGA team represented the African nation of Burkina Faso at the program. In addition, members of the team also won individual awards for their outstanding performances in the educational model. The UGA team includes Tifara Brown; Sainabou Jallow; Lisa Traore; Rita Ebhaleme; Tyler Smith; Ryan Kelley; and Faisal Gedi. In addition to the best delegation award for the team, four members of the team won individual awards including:  Kelley (the Best Chair Award); Jallow and Brown (Outstanding Delegate Awards); and Traore (Honorable mention) for their efforts in their respective committees. Kelley then had the honor of being elected by the faculty from all participating institutions to chair the general assembly at the end of the simulation on the 8th of November.

The SEMAU simulation is a student-centered undertaking designed to assist students gain valuable knowledge of diplomatic codes of behavior as well as enhance their leadership aptitude. Students will also benefit immensely, learning how to use and apply parliamentary procedures using Robert’s Rules of Order. Each participant chooses a committee to participate in, research their selected country, draft, discuss, and vote on resolutions that address major problems in the selected country in particular, and the continent of Africa at large. The simulation also exposes students to a wide array of issues relating to Africa, including: political, economic, socio-cultural, security as well as environmental matters. It contributes to students’ understanding of the capabilities and limitations governments in Africa face in dealing with the aforementioned challenges. The conference also gives students an opportunity to meet and make new friends and share their college experiences.

The team was prepared for the simulation by two faculty advisors, Dr. Karim Traore and Dr. Akinloye Ojo both of the Comparative Literature department and the African Studies Institute. Additional preparation and support was provided by two graduate assistants in the African Studies Institute, Sylvia Ayieko and Betranna Abrams. The team received financial support from four units including the Office of the President; the Associate Provost for International Education; the Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity; Franklin College; and the African Studies Institute. The winning team will continue to prepare for the National Model African Union (NAMAU) coming up in February 2015 at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Akinloye Ojo
Associate Professor                       
Comparative Literature    
246 Joe Brown Hall                     
& Director
African Studies Institute