Mr Joshua Tahinduka (C) reacts after winning the Best of Toastmasters East Africa (BOTEA) contest in Nairobi last year

Rwanda will host the 3rd Best of Toastmasters East Africa (BOTEA) Conference on Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24, 2017 at the Kigali Exhibition and Conference Village and Marriott hotel respectively. East Africa will experience the thrill of watching East Africa’s finest speakers compete for the title of BOTEA champion of public speaking.


The conference is composed of a panel discussion, “Umuganda” described as community work, a gala dinner that will feature a Keynote speech by East Africa’s only Distinguished Toastmaster, Rozy Rana. The BOTEA conference will open with a panel discussion with a theme, “Why Public Speaking Matters” on Friday 23rd June starting at 5:30pm at Kigali Exhibition and Conference Village.


“Becoming the East Africa’s champion of Public Speaking was the culmination of a dream I didn’t think was possible,” says Joshua Tahinduka the former president of 1Rwanda Toastmasters Club, who holds the trophy of BOTEA 2016.


He added that “Being part of BOTEA for Toastmaster feels like a football player in European Champions league, every contestant is capable of winning the crown and nothing is obvious, all one does is enjoy the moment and learn by doing. It is always an experience worth living.”


The speech contests will challenge more than 35 contestants in their public speaking skills as well as their critical thinking ability. Each contestant will prepare two 5-7 minute speeches ahead of time and will present these to the audience in English on any topic of their choice. Judges rate the contestants on the following criteria:

Speech development/content, Effectiveness and originality, Speech value and organization, Audience response, Physical (gestures, style) and Timing.


The conference will attract Toastmasters from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. It will provide all participants with a weekend break from work and mostly with the opportunity to connect with contestants and a diversity of individuals from all walks of life in the East African region.


“Weekly Toastmasters meetings provide a safe, nurturing place for club members to prepare for challenges faced not only in contests, but in their day-to-day activities. “Toastmasters has helped me gain the confidence I need to overcome obstacles in other parts of my life.” commented Caroline Namara, President of 1Rwanda Toastmasters club.


The conference will provide an opportune time to Toastmasters leaders to commence a journey that will see East Africa form a Toastmasters District. The District will have a responsibility of coordinating all Toastmasters activities in the region including membership growth, mentorship among other coordination activities.