Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement

About Us

The Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS) works primarily within three thematic areas: social need, the Centre’s network and experience, and a business nexus to pressing social challenges and their solutions in Africa.​

Areas of focus

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Business, conflict and development

Unlocking local development

Support for emerging scholars and practitioners

Commissioned research

Capacity building

Convening of stakeholders

What We Do

As an interdisciplinary academic centre and platform for collaboration across the Western Cape’s public universities, ACDS exists as:

  • A forum for the exchange of ideas – ACDS convenes scholars and practitioners to promote cross-fertilisation and increase the relevance of scholarship to practice.
  • A focal point for action research – ACDS draws on its scholar and practitioner networks to design and conduct research for monitoring and evaluation, comparative learning and actionable insight.
  • A catalyst for the professionalisation of dispute resolution practice – ACDS acts as Secretariat for the Dispute Settlement Accreditation Council of South Africa (DiSAC). Information about DiSAC, its members, and training and accreditation standards for mediators and arbitrators is available at
  • A partner in capacity building – ACDS draws on its scholar and practitioner networks to ensure that context-appropriate training in dialogue, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and related dispute resolution practices is available from the community to the international levels. Courses can be academically certified as appropriate.
  • A clearinghouse for teaching materials – ACDS develops innovative teaching tools, and makes curricula, case studies, simulations and other materials for the teaching of dispute resolution publically available.

The Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement operates under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. The Centre is headed by Prof Brian Ganson​ who holds a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Prof Ganson is an associate professor extraordinaire at USB.

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