Media release: eNCA and Doha Debates partner for Cape Town debate on water

Doha Debates and eNCA Team Up to Showcase Cape Town Debate on World’s Worsening Water Shortage Crisis

Sept. 10 Doha Debates forum will be livestreamed, with Sept. 11 eNCA prime time telecast

Free tickets available to attend debate

Cape Town, September 4, 2019: As hundreds of millions of people across six continents face the prospect of their water taps running dry – putting the world’s food supplies at risk and raising security challenges – Doha Debates is traveling to Cape Town to host a September 10 debate on how best to address the world’s worsening water shortage crisis.

The 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 debate will be livestreamed by eNCA and Doha Debates on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and eNCA will televise the debate at 8 p.m the following night.

Doha Debates, a production of Qatar Foundation, examines critical global issues through solutions-focused live debates, digital videos, blogs and podcasts.

Cape Town is one of the epicenters of the water shortage crisis. Three years of drought led to the city’s four million residents undergoing severe water rationing in 2018 and the near-term possibility of exhausted water supplies. Although extreme water conservation efforts and rainfall alleviated that emergency, Cape Town remains one of dozens of major cities around the world whose water supply is at risk.

During the debate at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre, three experts will offer suggestions on how individuals, communities and the world can keep water resources accessible to all.

The debaters include Georgie Badiel, a fashion model and philanthropist from Burkina Faso whose foundation advocates for cleaner drinking water, sanitation and education, especially for women and girls. She is joined by Jordanian Yana Abu Taleb, the co-director of EcoPeace Middle East, who guides water-sharing in conflict areas; and Obakeng Leseyane, an education and water conservation activist named by Fast Company South Africa as one of the nation’s young people to watch.

Joining the discussion and playing a key role in the debate’s solutions-focused “Majlis” segment will be bridge-building “connector” Dr. Govinda Clayton, a conflict resolution expert and researcher at ETH Zurich.

The debate’s moderator is Ghida Fakhry, and Nelufar Hedayat is the event’s digital correspondent.

The debate’s Cape Town audience will primarily be comprised of local university students.

The 300 debate attendees will be joined online by millions of viewers around the world via livestream.

Both Cape Town and remote audiences will be able to join the debate with questions and comments, as well as vote on the merits of solutions-focused proposals from debate speakers.

To help familiarize eNCA’s viewers with Doha Debates, eNCA will televise two recent Doha Debates programs the weekend before the Cape Town debate. At 8pm Saturday, Sept. 7 eNCA will televise the Doha Debates program on artificial intelligence, and at the same time the following night eNCA will show Doha Debates’ program on globalization.

Amjad Atallah, managing director of Doha Debates, says, “Nations throughout the world are increasingly facing the challenges of distributing decreasing amounts of safe freshwater to all their citizens.  Global warming and bad management have combined to create increasing water scarcity, especially for the most economically vulnerable.  South Africans know this as well as anyone, which makes it the right place for this solutions-focused debate. The world must act quickly to pre-empt far worse water and food supply shortage emergencies. We are honored and pleased to partner with eNCA, a superb news organization with a wide reach and an outstanding editorial focus, so people all over southern Africa are able to watch this important debate.”

Jeremy Maggs, eNCA’s Editor-In-Chief, welcomed the opportunity for eNCA to highlight and distribute the debate: “For eNCA’s viewers, the region’s water and food supply challenges are of critical concern. People are looking for practical solutions daily. This debate will provide answers and inspire and stimulate thinking. We thank Doha Debates for sharing this vital debate with us.”

Free tickets to attend Cape Town debate are available at, with RSVP required by Friday, Sept. 6.

Future 2019 Doha Debates are slated for October 23 at Qatar’s Education City and November 11 at the Paris Peace Forum.

Join the conversation online about the Cape Town debate using the hashtag #DearWorld.



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Media Contacts:


Sumi Alkebsi                                                                Lerato Maboi

Doha Debates                                                             eNCA

Communications Officer                                            Public Relations Officer

Phone: +1 202-609-7916                                            Phone: +27 84 089 3244

Email: [email protected]                            Email: [email protected]

Doha Debates