On 28 March 2013, ACCORD hosted a high-level delegation of African officials, led by the African Union Chairperson H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at ACCORD House in Durban, South Africa. The delegation comprised of the African Union (AU) Commission, the Executive-Secretaries of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and the members of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Secretariat.
(L-R) Mr Vasu Gounden, Founder and Director of ACCORD with H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Premier of Kwazulu-Natal Province, and Ambassador H.E. Billy Modise, ACCORD Trustee
Held on the margins of the 5th BRICS Summit and the NEPAD Retreat for the AU Commission and RECs, this event celebrated ACCORD's longstanding partnerships with Africa's inter-governmental bodies and their continued efforts towards promoting peace and security across the continent.
Dr Zweli Mkhize welcomes the African Union delegation to Kwazulu-Natal Province in ACCORD Boardroom
Dr Zweli Mkhize, Premier of Kwazulu-Natal Province, welcomed the delegation to the Province, highlighting the burgeoning strength of African civil society and its role in fostering peace and development, both within South Africa and throughout the continent. Mr Vasu Gounden, Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, welcomed the delegation and expressed the importance of ACCORD's partnerships with the respective organisations. Following these messages, Mr Gounden presented an overview of ACCORD's 20-year history and outlined key initiatives between ACCORD, the former Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and its current incarnation, the AU, and the RECs. After examining both the broad scope and successes of these collaborative efforts, Mr Gounden closed his presentation by identifying new opportunities for increased and mutually benefitting engagements between the partners and underscoring the need for innovative thinking to solve today's most complex challenges on the continent and throughout the world. HE Dr Dlamini-Zuma then responded by thanking the Institution for hosting the event and then called for greater collaboration with the AU in light of its' upcoming 50th anniversary.
(L-R) Mr Vasu Gounden presenting a gift on behalf of ACCORD to H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, along with Dr Zweli Mkhize and Ambassador H.E. Billy Modise
Mr Vasu Gounden speaks with Dr Zweli Mkhize
This event saw a number of key officials make their first visit to the ACCORD House. Representing the AU were: The Chairperson; the Deputy Chairperson, the Commissioners for: Peace and Security; Political Affairs; Economic Affairs; Human Resources, Sciences and Technology; Infrastructure and Energy; Rural Economy and Agriculture; Trade and Industry; and Social Affairs; and the Chief Advisor in the Office of the Chairperson. In addition, ACCORD hosted the Secretary Generals of the following RECS: CENSAD, COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, and SADC. The Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency and the President of the COSATU (South Africa) represented their respective institutions. Mr Logie Naidoo, Speaker of eThekwini Municipality was also in attendance. Representing ACCORD were two of its Trustees, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (former Chairperson of the NEPAD Secretariat) and H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise, along with two of the institution's Senior Political Advisors, Mr Aziz Pahad and Ambassador H.E. Welile Nhlapo.
ACCORD's partnerships with the AU, the RECs, and NEPAD are illustrative of successful and sustained efforts at contributing to the creation of African solutions to African challenges. Over the past 20 years, ACCORD has developed extensive and synergetic relationships with key inter-governmental actors from across the continent. Moving forward, ACCORD intends to further expand and diversify these relationships to continue solidifying the gains of peace, security, and development throughout Africa.
Mr Vasu Gounden addresses the African Union delegation in the ACCORD Boardroom
H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the delegation in the ACCORD Boardroom