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 attends TfP AGM and ECOWAS meetings in 2014

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD has participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja. The AGM's purpose is to highlight TfP's main achievements and developments in 2013, and present its work plans for...

01-04-2014 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD participates in fourth AMISOM lessons learnt conference

The Training for Peace Program at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD), was requested by the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the African Union (AU) in partnership with the British Peace Support Team (East Africa), to attend the Fourth Lessons Learned Conference to...

01-04-2014 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD supports development of increased coherence within peacebuilding policy community

Over the past years, a series of international, regional and national peacebuilding related policy processes have been initiated by the international peacebuilding community, and together these initiatives have generated a common space where several layers of actors working with peacebuilding...

27-03-2014 in Peacebuilding

Latest ACCORD Policy & Practice Brief provides recommendations for external peacebuilders on contributing to resilience

Entitled Creating an enabling peacebuilding environment: How can external actors contribute to resilience?, the latest Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) published by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) focuses on how external peacebuilding actors can contribute...

27-03-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD and partners launch Durban Leadership Initiative

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON) recently launched the Durban Leadership Initiative (DLI) in response to strong demands for greater...

11-03-2014 in Training

ACCORD support sustainability of peacebuilding projects in final African Peacebuilding Coordination Network Training in Juba

ACCORD's Peacebuilding Unit concluded its third African Peacebuilding Coordination Network (APCN) training in Juba, South Sudan. The training was a follow up to 20 peacebuilding projects that were developed by peacebuilding stakeholders during the first and second trainings that the...

27-02-2014 in Peacebuilding

ACCORD seminar focuses on alternate dispute resolution in run up to 4th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference

Within the context of heavy reliance on litigation by parties to disputes, the practicality of utilising Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods in resolving conflict in Africa was the focus of an Internal Staff Seminar held on 20 January 2014 at...

25-02-2014 in Knowledge Production

Application for International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa 2014 - 2015

ACCORD, in partnership with the University of Uppsala's Department of Peace and Conflict Research and Indevelop, a Swedish consulting company working for sustainable social development, have commenced with the fourth edition of the International Training Programme (ITP) on Peace and...

14-01-2014 in Training

TfP ACCORD evaluates its Collaborative Conflict Management Training Package for UNMISS

Following a Training Needs Assessment in 2011, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has developed a training package for the Civil Affairs Division (CAD) in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The training package aims...

12-12-2013 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Workshop for the development of mission-specific strategy with AU Commission

The Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) was requested by the African Union (AU) to conduct an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Workshop to develop a mission – specific Gender Mainstreaming Strategy, for...

10-12-2013 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD conduct AMISOM Protection of Civilians Strategy Implementation Plan Workshop in collaboration with AU Commission

The Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) was requested by the African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) to conduct an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Protection of Civilians Strategy Implementation Plan Workshop for the...

10-12-2013 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD participates in GPPAC International Steering Group meeting

In an effort to address the shrinking space faced by civil society in several African countries, members of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) should strengthen collaboration and cooperation within and between the four GPPAC regional...

05-12-2013 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD publishes paper examining successes and challenge of South Africa's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe

The latest Occasional Paper published by ACCORD analyses South Africa's facilitation approach to the inter-party negotiation process in Zimbabwe – from former President Thabo Mbeki's 'quiet diplomacy' to current President Jacob Zuma's assertive stance – amid competing domestic and international...

02-12-2013 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD Brief discusses how South Sudan can achieve reconciliation without regret

The various options available to a country that wishes to face and address the legacy of grave crimes perpetrated against, and at times even by, its people in efforts to acquire justice for survivors of conflict are the focus of...

02-12-2013 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD takes part in international conference on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

ACCORD has participated in the International Conference on the Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with the aim of acquiring more in-depth understanding of the Rwandan experience as the ICTR prosecutorial mandate comes to an end, and...

28-11-2013 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD takes part in Africa Portal content partners' meeting

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was recently represented in a meeting of African think tanks which aimed to discuss the way forward for the Africa Portal, an open access online knowledge resource for policy-related issues...

28-11-2013 in Knowledge Production

Internal seminar examines challenges and prospects for state formation in post-secession Eritrea and South Sudan

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...

28-11-2013 in Knowledge Production

Internal seminar examines large-scale agricultural land deals in Africa through focus on Ethiopia

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...

11-11-2013 in Knowledge Production