An Introduction to ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a non-governmental conflict management institution based in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD was established in 1992 to impact on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution in South Africa. The Institution's focus has since broadened to include the whole of the African continent, and its activities stretch from the SADC in the South, through the Great Lakes region to West Africa and the Horn of Africa in the north-east. ACCORD strives to offer innovative and effective African solutions to African challenges. Through its work over the last twenty one years ACCORD has developed a comprehensive peace model, officially recognized by the United Nations in 1996 as a viable model for Africa.

ACCORD's activities are divided between an Interventions Department and a Knowledge Production Department. Within the Intervention Department there are a range of activities further divided into Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding. The Knowledge Production Department is responsible for a range of publications that include a quarterly magazine Conflict Trends (now in its fifteenth year of publication); books and occasional papers and research reports. In 1999 ACCORD published the first accredited African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) on the Continent, which is published biannually and which is now in its fourteenth year of publication.

ACCORD has developed a successful track record over its twenty one year history, working with former President Nelson Mandela in facilitating the role of civil society in the peace process in Burundi and with former President Masire on the DRC. ACCORD also worked in preparing rebel groups for the negotiation process in Burundi, facilitated by the South African Government.  In September 2005 ACCORD was the first African NGO in the history of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council.

ACCORD also hosts several special initiatives. The Africa Peace Award is an event that honours an individual, group or country. The Award recipient is selected based on three criteria: 1) The protection of and respect for human rights; 2) Peaceful settlement of disputes and; 3) Good Governance of public affairs. The first Africa Peace Award was presented to the Community of Mpumalanga (KwaZulu Natal) in 1993, the second to then President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and the third award was presented to the Nation of Mozambique in 1997. The fourth Africa Peace Award took place in June 2000 and was awarded to the Nation of Nigeria.  The fifth Africa Peace Award was presented to the Children of Africa, with a special focus on the children of the DRC, in June 2003. The sixth African Peace Award was presented to the Nation of Burundi in June 2006.  The seventh Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Sierra Leone in 2010. The eighth Africa Peace Award was awarded to the Nation of Ghana in 2012.

ACCORD is planning the construction of a permanent Conflict Prevention Centre, the first in Africa. Our vision is of a retreat, conference, training and research facility that will provide a peaceful setting and a comprehensive range of services that can accommodate high level conflict interventions, continuous training and research. The Centre would also be a venue for policy makers, academics and practitioners to gather on a regular basis to discuss conflicts, formulate policy and evolve practical responses to conflicts in Africa.

ACCORD has a full time staff capacity of over one hundred (100) Staff divided between ACCORD's Head Office in Durban, South Africa, its Burundi Country and Rural Offices (in 2003 ACCORD opened its first office in Burundi) and its Country Office in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan (opened in 2012). ACCORD also has a small group of Fixed Term Consultants, in addition to been able to call on a network of Associates and Consultants, throughout Africa, to assist and provide expertise on the range of activities undertaken by ACCORD.

ACCORD's Board of Trustees, headed by Madame Graca Machel (President FDC, Mozambique) comprises of H.E. Ambassador Sibusiso Bengu (the former South African Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Education); Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (member of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation Board; Chairperson, Pan African Capital Holdings, former Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee  and the former Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki); Professor Jairam Reddy (Chairperson of the Council of the Durban University of Technology and former Director, United Nations University International Leadership Institute); H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise (former South African Ambassador to Canada and former South African Chief of State Protocol); Mr Josias de Kock (former Chief Financial Officer for Premier Foods and a former Chief Risk Officer for Sanlam) and Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and current Executive Director of ACCORD). Professor Jakes Gerwel, (former Chair, Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and the former Head of the Office of former South African President Nelson Mandela), one of the five founding Trustees of ACCORD, passed away in 2012.

Latest News from ACCORD

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ACCORD Occasional Paper places DRC’s North and South Kivu provinces at epicentre of insecurity in Great Lakes region

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...

30-10-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD contributes to Fifth Annual High-Level Retreat of Special Envoys and Mediators on the Promotion of Peace Security and Stability…

The solid partnership that ACCORD continues to share with the African Union (AU) recently flourished at the Fifth Annual High-Level Retreat of Special Envoys and Mediators on the Promotion of Peace Security and Stability in Africa. Themed 'Silencing the Guns...

28-10-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD/TfP participates in Civilian Rostering Seminar on lessons learned Northern Africa

The African Union (AU) Commission is currently finalising the work conducted with the Regional Economic Committees (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) on the establishment of the AU Civilian Standby Roster. This roster is to serve as the integrated continental platform...

27-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Gender and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Course for Police Advisors in Peace Missions

The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated in an Integrated Gender and SGBV Course for Police Advisors in Peace Missions. The course seeks to build the foundational knowledge, skills and personal qualities of participants to more effectively...

16-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP co-ordinate Leadership Capacity Building and Strategy Formulation Workshop on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for AMISOM

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (SEA) are fundamental violations of humanitarian and protection principles of civilians during armed conflict. While any violations or abuses of power are the responsibility of the individual, the deploying entity also has a responsibility to...

16-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD participate at AUC-OHCHR Joint Consultative Meeting on Cooperation on Human Rights in Peace Operations

The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD has participated in an African Union Commission (AUC) – Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) joint consultative meeting on cooperation on human rights in peace operations. The purpose of...

16-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Mission Planning and Mission Support Training Harmonization and Standardization Workshop

The Training for Peace (TfP) programme at ACCORD participated in the Integrated Mission Planning and Mission Support (IMP & MS) Training Harmonization and Standardization Workshop from 29 September to 03 October 2014 at the SADC RPTC in Harare, Zimbabwe. The...

16-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD undertakes research on role of the Civilian Component in AU Peace Support Operations

The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has collaborated with AU Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) in undertaking a study focusing on the roles of the civilian component in the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic...

16-10-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD facilitates capacity building for COMESA Electoral Management Bodies Forum on Election and Mediation

In line with its objective of providing training in the skills of negotiation, conflict prevention, resolution and management, ACCORD - in partnership with the African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) - has organised...

16-10-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD publishes AU Mediation Support Handbook

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the African Union (AU) collaborated to produce the AU Mediation Support Handbook. The recently published handbook is a general reference and field study guide for mediation teams and lead...

16-10-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD publishes report on 4th AU High Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa

The latest publication by the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) articulates information and ideas generated from the proceedings of the Fourth African Union (AU) High-Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa, which...

16-10-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD leads session at Inaugural Meeting of new members of the African Union Panel of the Wise

ACCORD has contributed to the Inaugural Meeting of the Panel of the Wise (PW) by leading an interactive session on conflict trends in Africa. The Meeting, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 16-17 September, was organised by the...

15-10-2014 in Peacemaking

ACCORD participates in dialogue on role of parliamentarians in managing migration for development

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...

13-10-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD’s Jannie Malan participates in inter-religious dialogue on the way to peace

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.

22-09-2014 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD's Training Unit collaborates with IGAD to train women mediators from Sudan and South Sudan

ACCORD recently partnered with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to provide training aimed at empowering women mediators from Sudan and South Sudan. A total of 20 Sudanese and South Sudanese women participated in the five-day training, which focused on...

18-09-2014 in Training

ACCORD trains Burundi youth leaders in election dispute management

In view of the upcoming 2015 elections in Burundi, and as continuation of the country's commitment to ensuring peaceful elections, ACCORD's Burundi Initiative and Training Unit has delivered two training workshops on the management of elections-related disputes for youth wings...

18-09-2014 in Burundi Intervention

ACCORD participates in UNDP experts consultation to critically review reconciliation as a mechanism for conflict prevention and peacebuilding

From 2 to 4 September 2014, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), was represented in the Experts Consultation on Reconciliation as a Mechanism for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)...

17-09-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD at validation workshop on Draft African Transitional Justice Policy Framework

On 18 and 19 August 2014, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a validation workshop on the Draft African Transitional Justice Policy Framework (ATJPF) held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was the...

17-09-2014 in Peacebuilding