An Introduction to ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a non-governmental conflict management institution based in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD was established in 1992 to impact on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution in South Africa. The Institution's focus has since broadened to include the whole of the African continent, and its activities stretch from the SADC in the South, through the Great Lakes region to West Africa and the Horn of Africa in the north-east. ACCORD strives to offer innovative and effective African solutions to African challenges. Through its work over the last twenty one years ACCORD has developed a comprehensive peace model, officially recognized by the United Nations in 1996 as a viable model for Africa.

ACCORD's activities are divided between an Interventions Department and a Knowledge Production Department. Within the Intervention Department there are a range of activities further divided into Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding. The Knowledge Production Department is responsible for a range of publications that include a quarterly magazine Conflict Trends (now in its fifteenth year of publication); books and occasional papers and research reports. In 1999 ACCORD published the first accredited African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) on the Continent, which is published biannually and which is now in its fourteenth year of publication.

ACCORD has developed a successful track record over its twenty one year history, working with former President Nelson Mandela in facilitating the role of civil society in the peace process in Burundi and with former President Masire on the DRC. ACCORD also worked in preparing rebel groups for the negotiation process in Burundi, facilitated by the South African Government.  In September 2005 ACCORD was the first African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council.

ACCORD also hosts several special initiatives. The Africa Peace Award is an event that honours an individual, group or country. The Award recipient is selected based on three criteria: 1) The protection of and respect for human rights; 2) Peaceful settlement of disputes and; 3) Good Governance of public affairs. The first Africa Peace Award was presented to the Community of Mpumalanga (KwaZulu Natal) in 1993, the second to then President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and the third award was presented to the Nation of Mozambique in 1997. The fourth Africa Peace Award took place in June 2000 and was awarded to the Nation of Nigeria.  The fifth Africa Peace Award was presented to the Children of Africa, with a special focus on the children of the DRC, in June 2003. The sixth African Peace Award was presented to the Nation of Burundi in June 2006.  The seventh Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Sierra Leone in 2010. The eighth Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Ghana in 2012.

ACCORD is planning the construction of a permanent Conflict Prevention Centre, the first in Africa. Our vision is of a retreat, conference, training and research facility that will provide a peaceful setting and a comprehensive range of services that can accommodate high level conflict interventions, continuous training and research. The Centre would also be a venue for policy makers, academics and practitioners to gather on a regular basis to discuss conflicts, formulate policy and evolve practical responses to conflicts in Africa.

ACCORD has a full time staff capacity of over one hundred (100) Staff divided between ACCORD's Head Office in Durban, South Africa, its Burundi Country and Rural Offices (in 2003 ACCORD opened its first office in Burundi) and its Country Office in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan (opened in 2012). ACCORD also has a small group of Fixed Term Consultants, in addition to been able to call on a network of Associates and Consultants, throughout Africa, to assist and provide expertise on the range of activities undertaken by ACCORD.

ACCORD's Board of Trustees, headed by Madame Graca Machel (President FDC, Mozambique) comprises of H.E. Ambassador Sibusiso Bengu (the former South African Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Education); Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (member of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation Board; Chairperson, Pan African Capital Holdings, former Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee  and the former Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki); Professor Jairam Reddy (Chairperson of the Council of the Durban University of Technology and former Director, United Nations University International Leadership Institute); H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise (former South African Ambassador to Canada and former South African Chief of State Protocol); Mr Josias de Kock (former Chief Financial Officer for Premier Foods and a former Chief Risk Officer for Sanlam) and Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and current Executive Director of ACCORD). Professor Jakes Gerwel, (former Chair, Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and the former Head of the Office of former South African President Nelson Mandela), one of the five founding Trustees of ACCORD, passed away in 2012.

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East Africa Regional Consultations on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture

In collaboration with the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Architecture, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) organised two-day regional Consultations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 11 – 12...

20-05-2015 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD and AU convene high-level seminar on mediation practice in Africa

On 04 May 2015, ACCORD and the African Union (AU) convened a high-level seminar, Strengthening Mediation in Africa, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bringing together over 50 participants from a diverse collection of national governments, multilateral institutions,...

15-05-2015 in General

ACCORD Executive Director participates in first Constitutive Meeting of the SADC Mediation Reference Group

On Thursday 7 May 2015, the SADC Mediation Reference Group (MRG) held their constitutive meeting at Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort, in Gaborone, Botswana. This was the first statutory meeting of the MRG since its members were appointed during the...

14-05-2015 in General

ACCORD Internal Staff Seminar appraises United States foreign policy

US foreign policy is of great interest to African states, with the US military involved on the continent and US presidential elections on the horizon in 2016. Globally, the current administration of President Barack Obama has utilised both dialogue and...

08-05-2015 in Knowledge Production

Sudanese CSO’s Review United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture in South Sudan

Peacebuilding is a dynamic field, and the UN recognised that through the appointment of an Advisory Group of Experts (UN AGE) on UN Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) in early 2015. To provide input from South Sudanese Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) to...

08-05-2015 in Peacebuilding

Gender Perspective Training by ACCORD for Peace Support Operations on the Continent

"Gender sensitive peacekeeping leads to more effective peacekeeping", according to Col. Fernando Izquierdo, who directed a recent course on Gender Perspective in Peace Support Operations, supported by ACCORD's Training for Peace (TfP) programme.

05-05-2015 in Peacekeeping

Establishment of Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KwaZulu-Natal

In response to the events of the past few weeks the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government has urgently established an independent Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KwaZulu-Natal. The focus of the Reference Group is to investigate the immediate...

29-04-2015 in General

ACCORD hosts roundtable on peace building in Liberia

From 15th to the 16th of April 2015, a roundtable discussion on Liberia was organised by ACCORD, focussing on the current peacebuilding context in post-Ebola Liberia. The discussion aimed at assessing the impact of the virus and the responses of...

22-04-2015 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD at second African Think Tank summit

A delegation from ACCORD have attended the 2nd African Think Tank Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 – 8 April. The event was attended by over 60 think tanks, with participants from 30 countries. The first Summit was...

10-04-2015 in General

ACCORD represented at World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit in Africa

'Vusa izizwe namhlanje!' (Wake up the nations today!) was the motto of the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit in Africa at which the ACCORD was represented by Prof Jannie Malan, Senior Researcher and Managing Editor of the African Journal...

10-04-2015 in Knowledge Production

TfP/ACCORD support African Standby Capacity Integrated Human Resource and Database Training Course

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have been developing a civilian standby roster since its conceptualisation in 2010. To date, significant progress has been made to improve the roster in order...

09-04-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD discuss MoU with IGAD in support of peace and security in the region

ACCORD has hosted H.E. Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, the Director of Peace and Security at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). H.E. Ambassador Gebremeskel represented IGAD's Executive Secretary, H.E. Ambassador Mahboub Maalim. The visit enabled discussions between the regional body (IGAD...

09-04-2015 in General

ACCORD attend 2015 TfP AGM in Olso

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Oslo, Norway. The AGM's purpose was to highlight the TfP Programme's main achievements and developments in 2014, and present...

02-04-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD publishes policy & practice brief on the eve of Nigeria's highly anticipated election

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) has published a Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) on the upcoming election in Nigeria. Co-authored by J. Shola Omotola, a Senior Lecturer in political science and public administration at Redeemer's...

27-03-2015 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD host launch of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu biography

On 24th March 2014 ACCORD hosted the launch of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu's biography, entitled "A Life of Purpose". The book follows Professor Nkuhlu's memorable path from student activist, to Robben Island prisoner at 19, to becoming South Africa's first black...

26-03-2015 in Trustees

ACCORD Trustee Ambassador Modise recognized at the inaugural Ubuntu Awards

On 14 February 2015 ACCORD Trustee H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise, was one of the recipients of the Ubuntu Lifetime Achiever Award, presented at the inaugural Ubuntu Awards ceremony hosted by the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)...

12-03-2015 in Trustees

Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking

From the 23th to the 25th of February 2015, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a conference hosted by Wilton Park in the United Kingdom, organized under the theme of 'Peacebuilding in Africa:...

12-03-2015 in Peacebuilding

TfP/ACCORD participate in expert workshop on impact of peacekeeping training on peace and security in West Africa

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in an Expert workshop on Impact of Peacekeeping Training on Peace and Security in West Africa. The workshop forms part of a research on peacekeeping training which was...

10-03-2015 in Peacekeeping