At the invitation of the African Union Commission's (AUC) Department for Political Affairs, ACCORD has participated in the Third Annual High Level Dialogue on 'Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa: Trends, Challenges, Prospects and Opportunities' convened on 30 and 31 October 2014 in Dakar, Senegal, under the theme 'Silencing the guns: Strengthening governance to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in Africa'. The retreat was held with the understanding that development failure and governance deficits lie at the heart of Africa's violent conflicts. It followed similar consultations focusing on youth and gender which aimed to gauge, together with the relevant constituencies, what needs to be done to silence the guns on the continent by 2020.
The latest Occasional Paper published by ACCORD makes connections between the vicious cycles of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) North and South Kivu provinces (the Kivus) and the intractable conflicts in the DRC. Written by Joyce Muraya and ACCORD's John Ahere, Perpetuation of instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: When the Kivus sneeze, Kinshasa catches a cold places the Kivus at the epicentre of the crisis in the DRC and persisting insecurity in the Great Lakes region as a whole.
As part of its work on religion and conflict, ACCORD was recently represented at the Community of Sant'Egidio's peace conference, which took place from 7 to 9 September 2014 in Belgium.
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 practice of ADR in Africa. The conference, which was co-hosted by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) at the California State University, Sacramento, United States of America, was organised under the theme 'Alternative dispute resolution and peace studies in Africa: Lessons, prospects and challenges'.
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 anniversary in an open session on 25 May 2014 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Between 14 and 15 May 2014, ACCORD hosted a two-day consultative meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, bringing together Southern African non-state actors ahead of the 10th anniversary of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC). Titled Southern Africa Consultation on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Peace and Security Council, the meeting was attended by 36 delegates hailing from 11 out of the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, including representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), think tanks, academic and research institutions, the media, as well as governments and multilateral African organisations, namely SADC and the African Union (AU). Findings and recommendations stemming from this consultation will feed into a submission of 'Perspectives of African Non-state Actors on the Work of the PSC' to be presented to the Council on Africa Day, 25 May 2014.
ACCORD was represented in the African-European Parliamentary Dialogue on Migration and Development which was co-hosted by the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and the Graça Machel Trust. The meeting was held on 2 and 3 October 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Departing from the premise that human migration is complex, the reasons for human movement are varied, and we live in an era of unprecedented mobility of persons in ever increasing numbers, the two-day event sought to uncover the positive aspects of migration, as opposed to the overtly negative and xenophobic labels tagged on immigration and migrants.
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 in 2015, with little progress in meeting the target having been made by African countries.
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 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this workshop sought to consolidate the African position on the inclusion of peace, rule of law and governance, as part of the development indicators for the post-2015 development agenda.
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 Merwe). It was launched at a small but very inspiring function held at the Quaker Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa on 13 May 2014. ACCORD was represented by Mr Jerome Sachane, Deputy Director, and senior researchers, Dr Candice Moore and Prof Jannie Malan. Prof Malan is also managing editor of the AJCR.
As South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, it is timely to recall some of the individuals and initiatives that helped to prompt the end of apartheid. Professor H.W. van der Merwe, described by the media as the man "who brings South Africa's enemies together", facilitated the first clandestine meetings between the ANC in exile and supporters of the South African government, the famed 'Lusaka meetings'. These meetings were unprecedented, and prohibited within South Africa. Professor van der Merwe gathered academics including Willie Esterhuyse and Sampie Terreblanche to begin talking to the ANC in exile. This year also marks the 50thanniversary of the inception of H.W.'s academic career as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1963. Most of H.W.'s career, however, was synonymous with the Centre for Inter Group Studies in Cape Town, what is today the Centre for Conflict Resolution at UCT.
- ACCORD seminar focuses on alternate dispute resolution in run up to 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference
- ACCORD participates in GPPAC International Steering Group meeting
- ACCORD publishes paper examining successes and challenge of South Africa's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe
- ACCORD Brief discusses how South Sudan can achieve reconciliation without regret
- ACCORD takes part in international conference on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- ACCORD takes part in Africa Portal content partners' meeting
- Internal seminar examines challenges and prospects for state formation in post-secession Eritrea and South Sudan
- Internal seminar examines large-scale agricultural land deals in Africa through focus on Ethiopia
- ACCORD internal seminar examines anthropology of violence in Great Lakes region
- ACCORD publishes Policy and Practice Brief for AU's Agenda 2063: From OAU to AU
- ACCORD and CAPCR to co-host 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution conference in Johannesburg in July 2014
- ACCORD hosts annual GPPAC Southern Africa regional steering committee meeting
- Internal seminar examines communal conflicts in South Sudan
- ACCORD's Jannie Malan presents 'magnificent paper' at Oxford Round Table on Religion
- Report from inaugural High Level Retreat of the AU Panel of the Wise
- ACCORD hosts academic writing skills workshop for staff
- ACCORD focus on role of Nigerian youth in peacebuilding
- Internal staff seminar unpacks peace infrastructures
- ACCORD interrogates regional cooperation for elimination of LRA
- ACCORD publishes conference paper on consolidation of peace after post-electoral crisis in Côte d'Ivoire