ACCORD implements major new long-term international training programme to strengthen peace and security architecture in Africa

on . Posted in Training

In October 2011 in Stockholm, ACCORD, in partnership with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and Indevelop, a Stockholm-based consultancy group, facilitated a three week lecture series on issues relating to peace and security in Sub- Saharan Africa. These lectures form part of an ongoing five-phase training programme for particpants from African IGOs and NGOs, to strengthen the peace and security architecture in Africa - a key strategic objective of ACCORD's overall institutional mission.

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PASA participants in a mediation simulation

29 participants were selected for the prestigious 18 month-long programme from key African inter-governmental (IGO), non-governmental (NGO) and regional organisations, such as: Africa Peace Forum, African Union Commission, East African Community, ECOWAS, IGAD, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Mano River Women's Peace Network and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding.

This second phase of the programme took place from 3-22 October 2011 in Uppsala, Sweden, and included lectures, a mediation training, and the mentoring of a select group of mentees by ACCORD's Training Unit Coordinator, Jose Pascal da Rocha.

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ACCORD lecturer Angela Nidinga-Muvumba and participants from the African Union discussing the state of peace and security in Africa

At the outset, participants were tasked with developing a change project for implementation during the extended programme. These ideas were presented to the group, and jointly developed further. Themes included: the causes of civil wars in Africa, regional security complexes, mediation and dialogue in African conflicts, regional peacekeeping operations with particular focus on the African Peace and Security Architecture, as well as mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation. With the support of the organisations they represent, participants have been tasked with implementing their project during the course of the programme.

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PASA participants on a study visit at the Folke Bernadotte Academy

The next phase of the programme will take place in March 2012. Participants will travel to Durban, South Africa, for a two week follow-up programme to their project assignments. It is expected that this phase of the programme will see major transformations within the relevant organisations carried out as a result of the change projects. Furthermore it is expected that the organisations will invest their own resources to achieve these changes.

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SA Vice President Mothlante talking at Uppsala University about South Africa's role as a mediator on the African continent (with Prof. Dr. Peter Wallensteen)

Strengthening the peace and security architecture in Africa is a key output of ACCORD's overall institutional strategy. Participating in this comprehensive programme provides the knowledge and the tools for addressing major challenges facing African organisations involved in peace and conflict programmes. As of now, the consortium ACCORD-DPCR-Indevelop are planning for a second edition of PASA 2012.