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.

Latest News from ACCORD

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ACCORD participates in launch and Implementation Workshop of AU Gender, Peace and Security Programme

As part of its efforts to mainstream gender into its activities, the African Union Commission Peace and Security Department (PSD) formulated and commissioned a Gender, Peace and Security Programme (GPSP) under the Peace and Security Department. The GPSP is a...

22-07-2014 in Women

Official visit to ACCORD by Minister of Communication and National Reconciliation of Central African Republic

ACCORD hosted the Minister of Communication and Reconciliation from the Central African Republic (CAR), H.E. Madam Antoinette Montaigne Moussa, from 30th May-2nd June, in Durban, South Africa. The visit was intended to explore possible collaborative activities and partnership between the...

17-07-2014 in Executive

ACCORD takes part in workshop on regional and national statistical capacities for measuring peace, rule of law and governance

Peace, rule of law and governance are measurable and a key component of development indicators in Africa. This was the conclusion of a workshop held from 11–12 June 2014 at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hosted by...

11-07-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD trains key Liberian peacebuilding actors in peacebuilding skills and project management

ACCORD is firmly involved in the peacebuilding and reconciliation process in Liberia through supporting local actors and building the capacity of implementing partners of the Reconciliation Roadmap. The most recent training, done in collaboration by the Peacebuilding Unit and Training...

03-07-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD’s Vasu Gounden presents Perspectives of African Non-state Actors during 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the African Union Peace and Security…

As a cornerstone in the African Union (AU)'s quest for peace and security on the continent and as one of the main pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the Peace and Security Council (PSC) commemorated its 10th...

24-06-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD participates in African Union mediation support capacity strategy meeting in Addis Ababa

ACCORD's commitment to support the mediation capacity of the African Union (AU) continues to be reinforced through the implementation of a three year project titled the AU Mediation Support Capacity Project and which is in its second phase. The project...

23-06-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD’s Peacebuilding Unit conduct research trip to better understand dynamics at play in South Sudan

In order to be relevant and contextualised to a changing environment, the Peacebuilding Unit at ACCORD conducted a research trip to Juba, South Sudan. Through meeting with peacebuilding partners and other actors on the ground, the Unit has deepened its...

18-06-2014 in Peacebuilding

End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Codes of conduct, sanctions and stemming the flow of weapons are as important to ending sexual violence in conflict as moral outrage—which is good though not enough. Governments must do more than develop plans and coalitions. International organizations need to force...

10-06-2014 in Women

TfP/ACCORD participates in Stakeholders Validation Workshop on the ECOWAS Standby Force Civilian Dimension Policy Framework

In fulfilling its objective of providing support to the Africa Standby Force (ASF) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms in Africa through policy development, the Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in a validation workshop...

10-06-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD participate in ECCAS/FOMAC Civilian Component Workshop

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) was invited to participate and contribute in a workshop organised by the civilian component of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Standby Force, the Force Multinationale de l'Afrique...

10-06-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD supports Joint Solidarity Mission in Central African Republic

ACCORD, through its Peacemaking Unit, has provided technical support to a two-day joint solidarity mission to the Central African Republic (CAR). The mission, which was co-led by Mme Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Mme...

09-06-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD and partners in Great Lakes Project attract accolades from AU Special Envoy to the Great Lakes and North Kivu…

The ACCORD Great Lakes Project (GLP), in collaboration with the DRC National Coordination Office of the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR), has conducted a Regional Peacebuilding Training in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

04-06-2014 in Peacebuilding

Gounden addresses AU Peace and Security Council

ACCORD Founder and Executive Director, Vasu Gounden, has addressed the 10th anniversary of the AU Peace and Security Council, in the Nelson Mandela Hall at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

30-05-2014 in Executive

ACCORD collaborate to develop peacebuilding computer game to enhance training

In order to raise awareness about long-term peacebuilding processes, simulate dynamic conflict environments in order to learn about the effects of policies or interventions, and to simulate adaptive decision-making, the Peacebuilding Unit at ACCORD is part of a consortium of...

21-05-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD launches special issue of African Journal on Conflict Resolution in honour of HW van der Merwe

The last issue of ACCORD's African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) of 2013 (Vol 13, No 3) was a special one on the theme Then and now: Perspectives on conflict resolution in South Africa (in honour of H.W. van der...

21-05-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD attend workshop to strengthen institutional capacities for building gender equality

In order to strengthen the institutional and organisational capacity for building peace, security, and gender equality across Africa, ACCORD attended a workshop hosted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR). The workshop created a space for participants to gain a...

20-05-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD supports South-South Cooperation

To support South-South cooperation in overcoming the challenges faced by fragile and conflict-afflicted states, ACCORD has been in continual support of the g7+. Strengthening the capacities for building resilience in countries currently on lower levels of a fragility spectrum is...

19-05-2014 in Peacebuilding

Training on elections and conflict management for African youth leaders

In the context of the 20th anniversary of peace in South Africa, which coincides with the country's fifth multiparty elections, ACCORD invited aspiring young African leaders to the country as election observers to the elections taking place, additionally training these...

14-05-2014 in Training