Model African Union Bayreuth e.V is an association created in February 2015. However, the elections were held in May 2015. We organise several activities, in which the participants have the possibility to learn more about Africa, about the AU and its current challenges.
Our main task it to organise an annual conference, which is a simulation of the real AU summit. Our first conference took place last year, from 21 to 24 April. It was the first MAU conference to take place in Germany. We had an amount of 45 delegates, 6 chairs and 6 volunteers. The conference was really successful and attracted a lot of people, which made us triple size the amount of participants for this year and brought us to be more ambitious.
MUNPlanet: The resolutions adopted during the conference will be highlighted in a report which will be submitted to the African Union, which is an honor for all MAU Bayreuth participants. How did you come up with this? What is more, how did you manage to put it into action?
One of our guest speakers last year was Mr Salah Siddiq Hammad, the senior Human rights expert at the AU. The resolutions were given to him after our last Pan-African Parliament session. He brought the resolution paper to the AU and presented it there. Some weeks later, we could see an article about us on their website.
MUNPlanet: Since a major part of MAU Bayreuth is introducing African culture, as well as reducing stereotypes and prejudices on Africans and African politics, besides the conference there will be a cultural programme. Could you tell us more about this and what will it include?
During our conference, we will promote the African Culture by organising events such as:
A city tour with the topic “Traces of Africa in Bayreuth”
A movie projection on a relevant topic of challenge in Africa
A drum session/African dance workshop (We are still thinking about it)
A Swahili choir singing workshop (still subject to change)
An African fashion show
An African Dinner
MUNPlanet: This will be one of the most interesting conferences out there, so obviously a lot of people will apply. Is there an age restriction on who can apply? What qualities does your ideal candidate possess?
People can apply up to the age of 16. Candidates should be interested in African culture and African policies. They should be motivated to learn more about Africa and about debating.
MUNPlanet: This year’s conference will be the second edition of MAU Bayreuth. How has the first one gone? What have you learnt since last year?
We have learnt to begin earlier with organisation. We have learnt to be more ambitious. We have learnt that we can reach whatever we want.
Last year´s conference was successful. We were a few people in the organisation team but we could manage to organise such a conference a make our name known. This year, we are more people to organise it and the structure well defined.
PSC, ECOSOCC and ACHPR are the favorites.
We wanted to include the African Central Bank as a simulated Institution which is still to be created. It is quite interesting to deal with untouched issues.
MUNPlanet: Organizing a conference is not an easy feat. What is the biggest obstacle for students when they organize a conference like this? And how do you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle is the time planning. Since we also have our courses and we must learn our lessons for the exams, it is not always possible for everyone to attend the meetings. At the beginning, it was even difficult to find a day in a week where everybody is available for our meeting. At the end, we decided that at least one person of each department should always attend the meetings and if it is really not possible, they should send their reports to the SGs. Since the agenda is always communicated two days before the meeting, people who cannot attend can also send their comments on the different points.
Another solution that we took, was to build a team on “slack”. There we can communicate all issues concerning the conference and share ideas without automatically meeting. Also on slack, channels of the different department are set for a more structured and efficient communication.
MUNPlanet: The 2017 edition of MAU Bayreuth is triple the size of the last one. This is a fantastic accomplishment. What do you see in the future of MAU Bayreuth?
With the MAU Bayreuth, we see our future in developing and offering a high quality educational event each year. Our association wants to make the conference better each year: Higher quality of the knowledge being taught, more internationality, better logistical organisation. The step we took from the last version of the conference to this one is huge and we want to continue our work.
MUNPlanet: Conferences like this one are crucial for youths’ development and improvement. If someone is having second thoughts about applying for the first time, what would you say to them to encourage them?
Just look on our webpage and programme and see what we offer: Education in present and future key issues, a platform for students from all around Africa and Europe, a fun evening programme and all that for a very affordable price. There aren´t many ways to spend your time better than here. And if that´s not enough: 22 people were and are working on this project with the highest dedication one can imagine. There must be something behind that.
MUNPlanet: In addition to the cultural programme, what do you have planned in the social department?
The Cultural Programme itself already contains an event each evening: Gala Night, Film Projection, Cooking Together, Fashion Show and more. Additional to that our culture/social department is planning workshops, in total nine workshops on six days on interesting content topics and a panel discussion but also interactive fun workshops.
MUNPlanet: Finally, can you tell us any funny anecdote that happened last year?
During our last conference, in a debate session, one of the delegate who is deaf forgot to put on his deaf device and misunderstood what another delegate said. The delegate who is deaf actually speaks loud and it is even louder when he does not put on his device. He then began to speak aloud at people, which was considered as shouting by the whole members who did not know him before. It turned to a conflict situation and our conflict manager was called. She could clarify the situation and at the end everyone was laughing.