ACCORD’s Angola Intervention, entitled Building peace & Democracy in Angola: Enhancing Capacity for Managing Conflict is a culmination of the Organisation’s work in the country since 2004. This work is inclusive of a Conflict Vulnerability Assessment that was conducted in 2005 prior to the official start of the programme. The Intervention focuses on three main areas namely, capacity building civil society and other relevant stakeholders, community reintegration and the development of a monitoring and evaluation tool or mechanism of intervention. The overall objective is to contribute to improving democratic governance through the promotion of constructive dialogue between stakeholders and building capacity for participation in decision-making processes at different levels, to develop skills in conflict prevention, management and transformation; and to build local capacity and sustainability. The Angola Intervention is implemented in partnership with Development Workshop (DW) Angola and funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).
PAST PROGRAMMES AT ACCORD
The Coexistence project was launched in November 2003 following the signing of a one year memorandum of understanding between ACCORD and the Washington-based Co-existence Initiative (TCI). The project is intended to undertake studies in South Africa on co-existence and conflict management post-1994.
The Constitutionalism in Africa Project was a result of a tripartite collaboration between the governments of South Africa, Switzerland, and ACCORD. It was one of the few programmes that brought together government and civil society to pragmatically address conflict management in Africa. The project was launched in November 2000 and ended in November 2002. It was financed by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
In 1993 ACCORD started a series of circulars to universities in 24 African countries in order to encourage the academic development of dispute resolution teaching and research. In 1995 ACCORD was then commissioned by UNESCO to draft a report on Peace Education at the universities of Southern Africa.
Elections are a key component of democratic processes. The regular holding of credible and legitimate elections is a forerunner to the establishment of legitimate governments. The creation of a neutral and tolerant political atmosphere conducive to the conduct and management of elections, particularly in most African countries, has been challenging to achieve. Worldwide, particularly in developing countries, elections have come to be associated with the eruption of ethnic and other tensions and the increase in social antagonism as various social groups compete for ownership and control of state machinery.
Effective and good political leaders are not only able to guide their governments and perform effectively for their citizens, but can claim their place and effectiveness in the global community. Within their countries, "they deliver high security for the state and the person; a functioning rule of law; education; health; and a framework conducive to economic growth. They ensure effective arteries of commerce and enshrine personal and human freedoms. They empower civil society and protect the environmental commons. Crucially, good leaders also provide their citizens with a sense of belonging to a national enterprise of which everyone can be proud. They unite rather than unravel their nations and seek to be remembered for how they have bettered the real lives of the governed rather than the fortunes of the few." ("Leadership in Africa," The Mombasa Declaration 20 March 2004, African Leadership Council.)
"On 21 September, Africa joined the rest of the world to mark Peace Day. For Africa, this day was especially significant, as 2010 was declared the Year of Peace and Security in Africa.
Peace Day, therefore, represented an important milestone for the Year of Peace and Security. 21 September was a natural bridge in the implementation of this important campaign that allowed the continent and its international partners to review the achievements and challenges thus far and to make or revise its plans for the future. It is important that we all continue to work together to ensure that this year is marked by more than a series of symbolic activities, and that it becomes a true catalyst for sustainable peace initiatives on the continent.
Let us continue our hard work to achieve all the objectives of the Year of Peace and Security in order to demonstrate our commitment to this cause and our ability to succeed at what we set out to do."
As part of ACCORD's contribution to making peace happen in 2010, the following were some of the highlights of our work during the year of celebration:
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD’s) Peace and Security Programme, in conjunction with ACCORD, has developed a policy framework for post-conflict reconstruction. The NEPAD Secretariat requested ACCORD, in August 2004, to facilitate a process for developing a strategic policy framework for post-conflict reconstruction for the African Union (AU)/NEPAD. The project commenced with the development of concept papers on elements of post-conflict reconstruction, followed by a regional workshop, and the development of a draft framework for post-conflict reconstruction in Africa.