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.

Download a copy of ACCORD's Brochure: Twenty Three Years of Contributing to Peace

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 and Resources

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ACCORD, UN and IOM release Outcomes Report on Conflict-Induced Migration Expert Group Meeting

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the African Union (AU) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) is pleased to release an Outcomes...

11-02-2016 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD’s Executive Director presents to South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation

On Wednesday 10 February 2016, Mr Vasu Gounden, Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, delivered a presentation to a Strategic Planning Workshop of the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee (PPC) on International Relations and Cooperation. This annual workshop convenes the...

10-02-2016 in Executive

Call for transformation from ‘Solemn Declaration to Solemn Deliverables’ – ACCORD attends 27th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative meeting

To contribute towards the agenda of the AU Summit and influence the decision making process of member states, women's rights and gender equality advocates have for a number of years held meetings prior to each summit. The meetings seek to...

04-02-2016 in Business Development

ACCORD ranked in top 100 Think Tanks worldwide in 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index

"The challenge for the new millennium is to harness the vast reservoir of knowledge, information, and associational energy that exist in public policy research organizations so that it supports self-sustaining economic, social, and political progress in every region of the world...

02-02-2016 in General

ACCORD Publishes Special Edition of African Journal of Conflict Resolution on ‘Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Societies’

Social cohesion is a key variable in the recovery of countries from violence and/or conflict. Such countries face the often simultaneous challenges of nation-building, reconciliation, social engineering and achieving justice and reconciliation. In this vein, ACCORD was pleased to publish...

29-01-2016 in Knowledge Production

SACOIR overview presented to DIRCO

On 19 January 2016 the Executive Director of ACCORD, Mr Vasu Gounden, attended a meeting with H.E. Nkoane Mashabane, the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, along with the other members of the South African Council on International...

27-01-2016 in Executive

A celebration of the life of Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Son of Africa

ACCORD is honoured to have contributed to the publication of a book celebrating the remarkable public life of Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim which includes service as the United Republic of Tanzania's youngest ambassador, to his three terms as Secretary-General of...

25-01-2016 in General

Gender advising for effectiveness of peace support operations

Understanding the gendered dimension of conflict is essential if peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations are to succeed in the long-term. Gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping environments involves identifying the various impacts of conflict on the lives of women and men and on...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD Conducts Research for the Enhancement of the Mission Support Function in AMISOM

In light of the progress made by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2014, and cognisant of the changing situation in Somalia, a number of activities have been conducted in AMISOM, as directed by the African Union Commission (AUC)...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP conducts Mediation, Negotiation and Humanitarian Intervention training for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

Senior military and police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) completed a three-day course on Mediation, Coordination and Humanitarian intervention conducted by ACCORD/TfP held from 2-4 November 2015 in Mogadishu, Somalia. This initiative is part of ACCORD's...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Regional Specific Technical Visits and Support on the Application of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Rostering Tool

In June 2015, the African Union Commission (AUC), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) finalised and subsequently launched the African Standby Capacity (ASC) roster which marked an important milestone in support of AU peace operations. This paved...

15-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD calls for first ever global conference on peace

On 21 November 2015, during ACCORD's 2015 Africa Peace Award celebration, I made a call for the United Nations (UN) to convene the first ever UN Global Conference on Peace. The call was made during the presentation of the Africa Peace...

14-12-2015 in Special Projects

ACCORD facilitates a workshop for women leaders in Central African Republic on mediation and negotiation

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), organised a three-day workshop on 3-5 December 2015, in Bangui, in the Central African Republic (CAR).

11-12-2015 in Peacemaking

Vasu Gounden appointed to serve on the SADC Mediation Reference Group

In 2014 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was appointed by the SADC Summit to serve on the SADC Mediation Reference Group. On 09-11 December 2015 Mr Gounden participated in the Regional Mediation Training Curriculum Validation Workshop...

11-12-2015 in Executive

ACCORD/TfP co-hosts the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Rostering and Training Linkage Roundtable

In March 2015, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Department (PSD) finalised the development of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) system, thus paving way for the population of the roster. The ASC has been developed and established to address...

11-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Consolidating the gender, peace and security agenda in the Southern African region

2015 marks an important year for the women and peace and security agenda. In 2015 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action celebrated its 20th anniversary and the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on "women and peace...

11-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Climate and conflict – recent work by ACCORD

Conflicts can be triggered by the impacts of environmental change, and even measures to adapt to climate change need to take the potential for conflict into account. With the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) or Paris Climate Conference underway, the...

07-12-2015 in General

ACCORD hosts Fifth International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa

ACCORD together with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, based at Uppsala University and Indevelop, a Swedish consultancy working for sustainable social development, has for the last 18 months been undertaking a International Training Programme on Peace and Security...

07-12-2015 in Peacemaking