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Letting young people have their say, developing critical mindsets and dialogue, and encouraging people to take to the floor – these are just some of the objectives of the 'Banja Malalaka' contest, which was launched in Madagascar on 27 July 2017 to give citizens a platform to air their views.
Held in a fun and inclusive environment, this contest provides citizens with an arena in which they can voice and reflect on their thoughts. It is specifically aimed at young people living in the town of Antalaha (Sava region, Madagascar), and seeks to improve their debating abilities by encouraging them to argue and defend their opinions whilst respecting each other.
Every month, tournaments and open slam sessions of civic and citizenship scope, together with debating contests focusing on various themes of general interest, will be held in the local community centre. The events will be recorded by radio stations and used to make programmes for raising citizen awareness.
In December, the best speakers will be rewarded with a trip to Antananarivo, where they will have the opportunity to meet many different artists and representatives of civil society bodies, and make various institutional visits.
Banja Malalaka has been launched in partnership with ECES and the Municipality of Antalaha as part of the Madagascan Citizens' Dialogue project, which aims to instil a culture of debate within the next generation and thus encourage them to become active citizens.