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 and Resources

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President Masire turns 90!

The Trustees and Staff of ACCORD extends its best wishes to H.E. Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, the former President of Botswana, on the celebration of his 90th Birthday. African Patriot, Statesman and Peace Maker!

23-07-2015 in General

ACCORD and Mandela Day 2015

Each year on Mandela Day ACCORD practically supports the work of an NGO or community, boosting their efforts to make an impact. For the 2015 Mandela Day, ACCORD supported the Gandhi Development Trust in the rehabilitation of the Phoenix Settlement...

21-07-2015 in General

Vasu Gounden appointed to serve on the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR)

The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, has been appointed by the Government of South Africa to serve on the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR). ACCORD congratulates former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad, on...

17-07-2015 in Executive

TfP/ACCORD supports the strengthening of the police dimension of peacekeeping in Africa

The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD participated in a TfP Research Network Dissemination Seminar to present and discuss the different research findings and recommendations that emerged from the various research on policing conducted in Mali, Somalia and Darfur;...

08-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

African Union Peace Support Operations Division launches African Standby Capacity

The recruitment and deployment of civilian personnel for peace and security operations has largely been managed on an ad hoc basis with interested applicants applying directly in their personal capacity to the African Union Commission (AUC), resulting in numerous challenges...

08-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD helps Madagascar to prepare for donor funded activities

With the aim of supporting Madagascar to define its Peacebuilding Priorities to be funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and other donors, ACCORD trains Malagasy CSOs and facilitates Conflict Analysis for multi-stakeholder actors.

08-07-2015 in Peacebuilding

Development of a Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness Consultation

The Humanitarian Affairs Division within the Department of the Political Affairs of the African Union Commission organized a consultative meeting from 26-27 May 2015 which was held in Midrand, South Africa for the Southern Africa Regional for the Development of...

02-07-2015 in News

TfP/ACCORD builds capacity for Peace Support Operations

As a training Centre of Excellence and a member of the African Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA), the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region recently hosted Corrections/Prisons Officers for training on Peace Support...

02-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD attends the Training of Trainers on Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security

The concept of human security, which draws from, the freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity, is crucial to peace operations. In this light, TfP/ACCORD attended a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Civil Society and...

02-07-2015 in Peacekeeping

Identity in Africa the topic of discussion at ACCORD's Africa Day Internal Staff Seminar

In commemoration of Africa Day, on Monday 25 May 2015 the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) hosted an Internal Staff Seminar (ISS) at its Durban offices. The guest speaker, Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, gave a presentation entitled...

29-06-2015 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD/TfP strengthens African Standby Force Mission Support

ACCORD in collaboration with the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), hosted a Mission Support Training Harmonisation Workshop from 4-7 May 2015 in Durban, South Africa. The workshop sought to build on the Civilian Peacekeepers Foundation (Nairobi, Kenya, 2-5 December...

19-06-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP participates in the development of an AU Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration manual and compendium

To build on the successes of the past, knowledge must be captured and transferred. This applies equally to sensitive areas such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. In a key step towards the development of an African body of knowledge, the...

19-06-2015 in Peacekeeping

COMESA and ACCORD sign MoU

The Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA) and the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen collaboration in the area of peace and security. The MoU, was signed...

15-06-2015 in General

ACCORD participate in 26th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union and Member States

ACCORD has participated in the 26th Gender in my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union (AU) and Member States to support the empowerment of women in all spheres of society.

15-06-2015 in Women

25TH AU Summit, June 2015: ACCORD Resources and Experts

The 25th African Union Summit is being held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 7 to 15 June 2015, with the Heads of State meeting over 14 and 15 June. The Summit Theme is: "Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards...

12-06-2015 in General

ACCORD contributes to developing the capacity of civil society in South Sudan

The African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) hosted a training on Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development in Juba, South Sudan from 29-31 May 2015 for National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – one of the key stakeholders in peacebuilding...

10-06-2015 in South Sudan Initiative

ACCORD's Peacemaking Unit contributes to Central African Republic National Forum

The political dialogue in CAR, currently coordinated by the Transitional CAR Government, the International Contact Group (ICG-CAR) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), was composed of a series of international meetings in order to support the dialogue...

10-06-2015 in Peacemaking

TfP/ACCORD participate in IAPTC Executive Committee meeting ahead of 2015 IAPTC Annual Conference

As current Civilian Chair of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) Executive Committee, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has participated in the 2015 IAPTC Executive Committee Meeting that brought together a small group...

05-06-2015 in Peacekeeping