Although secessionist movements in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa were common in the 1980s and 90s, only Eritrea and South Sudan managed to gain independence, in 1993 and 2011 respectively. The question still remains, however, whether these countries are on track in addressing the main peacebuilding, state building and democratic consolidation challenges that emerged in the aftermath of secession.
Although large-scale agricultural land transaction is not a new phenomenon in Africa, the global financial and food crises that simultaneously erupted in 2007/2008 triggered a renewed interest in Africa's agricultural land. Some have labelled the current trend 'land grabbing', others cautiously speak of 'large-scale land acquisitions', while the World Bank calls it 'rising global interest in farmland'. Whatever terminology is employed to characterise this phenomenon, Africa is faced with the reality that large swathes of its farmland are being sold or leased out to large-scale investors.
Anthropological and socio-historical studies of the pre-colonial African Great Lakes region have testified to long periods of political stability as well as socio-economic development under various kingdoms and chiefdoms which comprised the region. Shockingly, however, most of the recorded history of the post-colonial African Great Lakes region depicts a scenario of elusive peace, punctuated by severe political turmoil as well as a socio-economic fabric torn apart by violence. Against this background, ACCORD recently hosted an Internal Staff Seminar to unpack the origins of conflicts in the region and present strategies for resolving these.
The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) recently published a Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) entitled The OAU/AU and an Africa at peace with itself: Time for serious business. Authored by ACCORD Senior Research Fellow Angela Muvumba Sellström, this brief forms part of ACCORD's contribution to the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU).
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) in collaboration with the African Union Peace Support Operations Division (AU PSOD) hosted the Fourth Annual African Standby Force (ASF) Civilian Focal Points Planning Meeting. The workshop provided a platform for the civilian focal points and planning personnel from the AU PSOD and the Regional Economic Communities/ Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to review the progress attained, identify common areas of concern, and develop joint annual work plans which identify key priorities for the operationalisation of the civilian dimension of the ASF.
ACCORD South Sudan Initiative (SSI) has conducted a Conflict Assessment Skills (CASE) training for South Sudanese Women parliamentarians from both the national and state assemblies. The three-day training was the first ever gathering of women parliamentarians overseeing the national and state executive bodies, providing diverse experiences of executive oversight. The training contributes to the SSI's broader objective of empowering women through capacity-building and participation in programme activities in South Sudan.
In line with its commitment to promote gender equality and gender-sensitive approaches to peacebuilding and conflict management, ACCORD participated in an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Conference to Launch Gender Milestones. The milestones are the Regional Strategy for Higher Representation of Women in Decision Making Positions, Regional Action Plan for Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions and IGAD Women and Peace Forum.
In fulfilling its mandate of providing support to national, regional and continental frameworks as well as initiatives aimed at conflict prevention and mediation, ACCORD, through its Peacemaking Unit, has participated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Consultation on "Building National Peace Infrastructures: Strengthening National, Regional and Continental Co-ordination in Conflict Prevention."
As a member institution of the African Peace Support Trainers' Association (APSTA), the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has participated in the 11th Annual General Meeting, themed "Working together to improve the capacity for peace support operations in Africa: the role, contribution and opportunities for APSTA in supporting African Union (AU) responsibility in maintaining peace and security".
In line with keeping to the United Nations (UN) Civilian Capacities processes and developments for enhancing the civilian element for peace operations within the African continent, the Training for Peace and Africa Peacebuilding Coordination Programmes (TfP and APCP) at ACCORD under the Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Units, attended the Civilian Capacities (CivCap) Network's Annual Partners Meeting. The CivCap Network was established in 2012 by ACCORD along with other partner institutions, with the objective to contribute to the mobilization of civilian technical expertise to assist in post-conflict reconstruction, and to be a resource of knowledge for the Global South.
Under the theme 'Alternative Dispute Resolution and Peace Studies in Africa: Lessons, Prospects and Challenges', ACCORD and the Center for African Peace & Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) at California State University, Sacramento, will co-host the 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference from 25 to 26 July 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- ACCORD participates in consultation on UN Women South Africa multi-country draft strategic plan
- ACCORD Executive Director calls for 21st century to be the 'century of peace' at United Nations special event
- ACCORD hosts annual GPPAC Southern Africa regional steering committee meeting
- ACCORD trains Zimbabwean Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum in mediation and dialogue skills
- ACCORD supports development of peacebuilding projects in post-conflict countries
- ACCORD trains South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission and Special Parliamentary Committee on Peace and Reconciliation in conflict analysis and mediation
- Internal seminar examines communal conflicts in South Sudan
- ACCORD Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with AMISOM
- ACCORD hosts briefing on AMISOM in Pretoria, South Africa
- ACCORD attends workshop on how conflict affects men and masculinities
- ACCORD's Jannie Malan presents 'magnificent paper' at Oxford Round Table on Religion
- ACCORD and UN co-host first Peacebuilding Fund Workshop
- Report from inaugural High Level Retreat of the AU Panel of the Wise
- ACCORD hosts academic writing skills workshop for staff
- ACCORD’s Peacemaking Unit conducts a mediation training for AU and RECs
- TfP/ACCORD attends UN Training of Trainers Course for Protection of Civilians
- ACCORD attends Civilian Capacity Network workshop on government-provided personnel in the rule of law domain
- TfP/ACCORD hosts UNMISS Civil Affairs collaborative conflict management advanced mediation retreat
- ACCORD participates in AUC-RECs-UNDP consultation on strengthening linkages in conflict prevention and mediation
- ACCORD supports strengthening of peacebuilding planning capacity via training in Liberia