ACCORD participated in this first of a series of discussions on social cohesion that will be hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Durban. The roundtable discussions aim to convene emerging leaders, engaged in the civil society sector, to better understand and support the factors necessary to foster greater social cohesion throughout the province. The event took place on 06 March 2022 at the US Consul General, Ms. Anne Linnee’s official residence in Durban. ACCORD was duly represented by Keenan Govender, Programme Officer-Research Department.
Opinion leaders from civil society, academia and the private sector shared in the discussions relating to the rate of youth unemployment and the social unrest experienced in July 2021. These two factors continue to underline major social, economic, and political concerns in KwaZulu-Natal. The US Consulate will host further sessions with its partners to identify areas of possible collaboration to address these challenges.
US Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Ms. Jaclyn Cole, outlined the various public diplomacy grant proposals available towards advancing social cohesion. She also shed light on the potential future funding available to the participants of the local program series.
ACCORD recognises that relevant local and national stakeholders, such as academics, community leaders, and civil society should be better enabled to manage conflict situations that arise. There is a need to collaborate with all sectors on social cohesion initiatives and nation building. ACCORD remains committed to encouraging social cohesion in Africa, more specifically starting in ACCORD’s home city and the KwaZulu-Natal province.