By Ernestina Addo, ASCD Ghana
To commemorate Africa’s dynamism and innovation, the 55th annual Round Square International Conference 2023 was held from Sunday, the 8th, to Saturday, 14th October. Brookhouse Schools in Nairobi, Kenya hosted the conference, the conference explored the theme “The New Africa,” delving into the continent’s evolution and defining role in the 21st Century.
This immersive experience unfolded across Brookhouse’s two campuses, offering a diverse program of engaging learning sessions, enlightening keynotes and panel discussions led by a remarkable lineup of African innovators. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in these sessions, sparked meaningful conversations, fostering cross-cultural understanding and inspiring attendees.
The heart of the conference lay in its unique accommodation setup. 1200 student delegates from 160 Round Square schools worldwide were welcomed into Brookhouse families’ homes, providing them with a firsthand experience of East African hospitality. Meanwhile, adult delegates enjoyed comfortable stays in hotel accommodations in the bustling city of Nairobi, immersing themselves in the culture of the place.
Structured days of the conference ensured a well-rounded experience. Opening day brought all attendees together, setting the tone for the conference, followed by three content filled days that offered smaller group activity and interaction. Students were able to engage with unique learning experiences during the content days deemed Adventure, Service, and Democracy days. Activities rotated between the Karen and Runda campuses of Brookhouse schools, providing participants with diverse perspectives and experiences.
Former First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyetta in her inauguration speech of the Round Square conference, stated “We shall be seeing a bold and visionary generation rise up. You are a generation willing to take chances to chart your own paths. You are ready to question, to experiment with new ideas, to innovate, and ultimately, to build a better world” (Citizen Digital).
The Adventure Day was an exhilarating moment of the conference, where attendees camped beneath the East African skies in Nairobi National Park. This unique experience included wildlife game drives and discussions centred on environmental conservation and deepening participants’ connection with nature and African wildlife.
The Round Square International Conference 2023 was an educational event and a celebration of Africa’s progress in the education sphere and its innovations. Attendees left with a profound appreciation for the continent’s rich heritage and significant global community contributions.