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Asset Management Training Workshop Held in Lusaka, Zambia at Intercontinental Hotel from 3-5 July 2024

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the National Prosecution Authority’s Inter-Agency Framework on Asset Forfeiture, hosted an inaugural training workshop on Asset Management in Lusaka, Zambia, from 3rd July to 5th July 2024.

Officiated by the Attorney General, Mr. Mulilo Kabesha,
SC, the workshop drew participants from five provinces and thirteen agencies within the InterAgency Framework, along with other critical stakeholders. This event marked a significant milestone in Zambia’s efforts to enhance asset management practices, with a focus on transparency and accountability.

Participants were afforded a unique opportunity to examine Zambia’s current asset management protocols in relation to practices from other jurisdictions in Africa and beyond. Experts from local government agencies and international counterparts from Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, and North Macedonia, shared valuable insights, practical experiences, and discussed challenges and opportunities in asset management. These contributions are poised to significantly inform the development of Zambia’s proposed legislation on asset management.

In his opening address, Attorney General Kabesha reaffirmed the government’s policy on the effective management of forfeited assets, underscoring its critical role in delivering justice and ensuring national benefit from these assets. He assured attendees of the government’s dedication to establishing the Criminal Assets Recovery Inter-Agency Bureau, with its bill set to be introduced in Parliament soon. The Attorney General expressed confidence that this new bureau would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of asset management.

Ms. Lindy Muzila, UNODC , Global Program Against Money Laundering (GPML) Regional Project Coordinator, highlighted the developmental implications of asset management, emphasising its potential to finance essential initiatives such as educational facilities, shelters for vulnerable populations, and law enforcement projects. She praised Zambia for its proactive legislative amendments aimed at aligning asset management practices with international standards, thereby ensuring robust and transparent management frameworks.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) highlighted the workshop’s objective to fortify policy frameworks, operational efficiency, and overall expertise in asset management. The DPP stressed the importance of international collaboration and knowledge sharing in addressing the complexities associated with managing seized assets.

The Acting Secretary to the Treasury, Ms. Nsandi Manza, emphasised that the anticipated asset management bill is expected to significantly reinforce Zambia’s socio-economic development. She outlined the government’s expectation that this legislation would enhance asset management practices nationwide, ensuring that forfeited assets are effectively utilised to support public welfare and development projects.

Interactive sessions and practical simulations provided participants with hands-on experience equipping them with essential skills and tools for proficient asset management.

This workshop was generously funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), reflecting the international community’s commitment to supporting Zambia’s efforts in combating crime and corruption.

The success of this workshop underscores the importance of partnership and collective commitment to advancing development and justice through effective asset management. It highlights the crucial role of inter-agency collaboration and international cooperation in achieving these objectives.

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