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's Training Unit collaborates with IGAD to train women mediators from Sudan and South Sudan

ACCORD recently partnered with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to provide training aimed at empowering women mediators from Sudan and South Sudan. A total of 20 Sudanese and South Sudanese women participated in the five-day training, which focused on...

18-09-2014 in Training

ACCORD trains Burundi youth leaders in election dispute management

In view of the upcoming 2015 elections in Burundi, and as continuation of the country's commitment to ensuring peaceful elections, ACCORD's Burundi Initiative and Training Unit has delivered two training workshops on the management of elections-related disputes for youth wings...

18-09-2014 in Burundi Intervention

ACCORD participates in UNDP experts consultation to critically review reconciliation as a mechanism for conflict prevention and peacebuilding

From 2 to 4 September 2014, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), was represented in the Experts Consultation on Reconciliation as a Mechanism for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)...

17-09-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD at validation workshop on Draft African Transitional Justice Policy Framework

On 18 and 19 August 2014, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a validation workshop on the Draft African Transitional Justice Policy Framework (ATJPF) held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was the...

17-09-2014 in Peacebuilding

Training of Trainers in International Humanitarian Law for Somali National Army Officers

In close partnership with ACCORD, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have organised a Training of Trainers (ToT) Course in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for Somali National Army (SNA) Officers held in Kampala, Uganda, from 19-28 August 2014. The...

11-09-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD publishes brief on Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda ahead of UN General Assembly meetings

The latest publication by the ACCORD critically discusses the Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda against lessons learnt from operationalisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly relevant due to the fact that the MDGs will lapse...

09-09-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD trains SADC military, police and civilians in mediation, negotiation and gender in peace support operations

The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in the Exercise AMANI Africa II Pre deployment Courses. This participation contributes to the adequate preparation of the civilians, police and military officers from Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region who...

04-09-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD receives the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace

ACCORD has received the Mahatma Gandhi International (MAGI) Award for Reconciliation and Peace, awarded by the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT), for its 22 years of work in promoting peace and the constructive resolution of disputes globally.

28-08-2014 in General

ACCORD partners with UN Peacebuilding Fund for workshop on Political Nature of Peacebuilding

The United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) field staff have been seeking to develop coherence between one another, and to enhance their relationships with other institutions, especially ACCORD and the governments of PBF...

28-08-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD conducts Electoral Alternate Dispute Resolution workshop with the Electoral Commissioners Forum (ECF) of SADC

From 18-20 August 2014, ACCORD conducted a workshop on election-related Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanisms with the Electoral Commissioners Forum of the Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC). This workshop, which convened approximately thirty Chairpersons and Chief Electoral Officers from the election...

26-08-2014 in Elections

ACCORD Celebrates Nelson Mandela Day by contributing to Abalindi Welfare Society

On Friday, 18 July 2014, the ACCORD Staff, in partnership with the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT), celebrated the annual international Nelson Mandela Day by devoting a day of community service and volunteering in support of the Abalindi Old Age and...

22-08-2014 in General

TfP/ACCORD train UNMISS civil affairs officers on conflict analysis and reporting

The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD was requested by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to conduct a training for its International and National Civil Affairs Officers (CAOs) on Conflict Analysis and Reporting. This training aimed...

12-08-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD serve as panelists at peace operations workshop in Malawi

The Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has participated in a 'Policy to Practice: Peace Operations in Africa Workshop' in Lilongwe, Malawi. The workshop focused on linking the expectations of United Nations (UN) chapter seven missions to...

12-08-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD co-hosts 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution conference in partnership with the Centre for African Peace and Conflict…

The recently-held Fourth International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference provided an important platform for African and American academics and practitioners working in the fields of conflict and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to share knowledge and discuss the theory and...

11-08-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD facilitates key COMESA forum meetings in Seychelles

In recognition of the support that it has provided to the African Union and Regional Economic Communities in the last 22 years, ACCORD has continued to be invited to participate in high level forums in the continent in order to...

30-07-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD/TFP take part in 20th IAPTC annual conference and host training methodologies bilateral meeting

As a member of IAPTC, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated at this year's IAPTC Annual Conference to further strengthen and broaden the understanding of the African peace operations issues as well as the...

30-07-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD participate in Peace Capacities Network 2014 annual meeting in Istanbul

The Training for Peace (TfP) in Africa Programme and Africa Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) at ACCORD have participated in the 2014 Peace Capacities (PeaceCap) Network's Annual Partners Meeting. As the South Africa's representative in the Network, ACCORD's participation in the...

30-07-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP ACCORD participates in European Union Police Service Training – Exercise LOWLANDS GRENADE

The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD has participated in the 2014 European Union Police Service Training (EUPST) session which focused on the development of a rapid deployment capability of police elements in crisis management operations, and to train and...

25-07-2014 in Peacekeeping