ACCORD is a Civil Society Organisation that is, apart from conflict intervention focus, also a training institution. ACCORD was one of the founders of the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA) that currently has a membership of nine active Member Institutions (MIs). The MIs are located in the five peace and security operational regions of the African continent as outlined in the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) framework documents. The association’s operations are coordinated through a secretariat that is located in Yaounde, Cameroon under the stewardship of a recruited Executive Secretary (ES). The current ES was recruited and appointed on 12th August 2019 and will serve a three-year renewable contract. Following a period of organisational turbulence, the association decided to dissolve but dissolution was averted by a visionary rescue of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cameroon, who offered a huge amount of financial support that also included a number of assets: a building to house the Secretariat, vehicles: one for the ES and the other a utility double cab truck, office equipment and furniture and a variety of other operational items that will enable the secretariat to function effectively without disruptions.
The purpose of the Meetings
The Board Meeting
The Board, consisting of the Board MIs, convened and met on 27th November 2019 in the Boardroom of the APSTA Secretariat and considered issues emanating from the Board meeting of 3rd May 2019 that met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The issues discussed mostly focused on the receipt of the offers from the Government and People of the Republic of Cameroon including continuation of programmes that aim at the revival of the association’s activities administratively, financially and operationally. The Board also considered and approved the recommendations of the section committee that identified three eligible candidates for the key posts for the secretariat: The Deputy Executive Secretary, the Administration, Finance and Human Resources Officer (Admin/Finance/HR) and the Information, Communication Technology and Knowledge Management officer (ICT/KM). The Board also considered that as the year was winding down, the selected applicants would be offered the jobs and will be asked to take up the posts from January 2020. The board then submitted its recommendations to the AGM for approval.
Annual General Meeting
The AGM convened and met on 28th November 2019 to consider the resolutions of the 4th May 2019 meeting held in Addis Ababa, including all the attendant issues that had to be implemented by the time of the sitting of the AGM. The AGM received, considered and approved the recommendations of the Board though a number of amendments made to the decisions and recommendations of the Board. The amendments were only focusing on the presentation of the issues but the substance was retained. The AGM expressed its satisfactions on the progress achieved on the establishment and functioning of the Secretariat. In particular, the AGM concurred with the Board’s recommendations that the association through its secretariat should write a letter to the Government and People of Cameroon through the Ministry of External Relations, to express its gratitude and appreciation for the support and offer of the funding, secretariat premises, vehicles, office equipment, furniture and many other operational accessories that would help the secretariat function effectively and efficiently. The AGM appointed a new board and new Chair of the association.
Following a substantive discussion, the AGM endorsed the recommendations of the Board that decided to appoint EIFORCES, the resident MI, to be the Treasurer of the association. The Board had considered the extensive voluntary but hard work that EIFORCES had done to mobilise financial and material support from the government of Cameroon for which they had succeeded extraordinarily and for that reason had felt they should be given an official mandate to continue engaging the government to secure more resources. As provided for in the constitution, the Board observed that the functions of treasurer were not strategic but operational. For that reason, the board recommended and the AGM approved the need to amend the relevant provisions in the constitution so that EIFORCES could function with the relevant guidance, mandate and authority.
The AGM agreed that the next Board and AGM will be held in line with known practice but accepted the rationale that the 2019 AGM be held in Yaounde to enable MIs a chance to come and appreciate the new APSTA Secretariat premises, the vehicles, the office furniture and equipment.
Participation in activities that focus on peace operations capacity enhancement is in line with ACCORD/TfP Programme’s strategic goal of supporting efforts at strengthening the AUC, RECs/RMs and member states’ capabilities to plan, manage and implement PSOs on the continent. The support is provided through the enhancement of the African Standby Force (ASF) operational capacities and capability to ensure effective functioning of organizational systems in the UN/AU/RECs/RMs, member states and mission structures, particularly for the civilian component.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
ACCORD was represented by Brig. Gen. James Machakaire, Coordinator, PSOs Cluster and Rumbidzaishe Matambo, Intern, PSO Cluster. For more information on ACCORD’s work relating to the TfP Programme, please contact Ms Sibusisiwe Nkosi, Programme Officer, Peacekeeping Unit on firstname.lastname@example.org.