The Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was invited to be a resource person at a workshop hosted by the Embassy of Finland in honour of a delegation of eleven individuals on a study tour of South Africa on 17 November in Pretoria. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched a programme to familiarize top Finnish decision-makers with global development issues and the practices of development cooperation.
The visit to South Africa by the delegation was part of this programme. The visit consisted of in-depth discussions with eminent South Africans as well as briefings on Finland´s development cooperation with South Africa in the fields of science and technology and private sector development.
The delegation included the leader of one of Finland's main political parties, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank as well as the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Finance, as well as Members of Parliament, presidents of leading Finnish multinational corporations and interest groups, and leading media representatives.
The workshop was hosted by the Embassy to look at the status of development in South Africa and on the African continent. Some of the key sub-themes of the workshop included the challenges related to peace and security as well as broad-based economic growth, and also the question of what the role of international development financing and cooperation should be in addressing these challenges.
Mr. Gounden was one of four presenters and his topic focused on peace and security on the African continent. The other speakers included Greg Mills (on the status of Africa’s development); Mamphela Ramphele (on the role of international development financing and cooperation and Nomfundo Walaza (on the state of South Africa and the challenges of skills acquisition and bottom-up development).
The Government of Finland funds ACCORD’s African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme.