21. March 2024

Accelerating multi-agency asset recovery action in Zambia

Steering Committee Meeting participants under the Support to Zambia’s Multi-Agency Approach to Fighting Corruption programme

The Steering Committee meeting of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) under the Support to Zambia’s Multi-Agency Approach to Fighting Corruption programme on 20 March 2024 in Lusaka was a testimony to the strong leadership and commitment of Zambia’s key anti-corruption and accountability institutions to move ahead together to recover Zambia’s stolen assets. 

The meeting, which took place together with representatives of the British High Commission in Zambia, revealed significant progress in coordinating action along the asset recovery chain. As a result, we already see tangible results in the form of frozen or seized assets that, once fully confiscated, will be able to support Zambia’s economy during these particularly hard times.

Advancing asset recovery

Zambia is also making big strides forward in engaging with overseas jurisdictions to fast-track complex international investigations. Domestic laws are being carefully scrutinised with a view to equipping the country's enforcement and prosecuting agencies to go full steam ahead. 

Challenges along this path are at the same time manifold. Among them are: the need to improve systems for the management of seized assets; embedding a systematic follow-the-money approach; boosting analytical and financial investigation capacity for the increasingly complex cases the agencies are tackling; expanding the scope of anti-corruption and asset recovery action to other sectors, in particular when it comes to combating nature crime; and understanding the fast-evolving nature of money laundering risks in preparation for the next round of ESAAMLG mutual evaluations.

It will also be important to connect counter-action to the massive outflow of illicit finances which is hurting Zambia’s otherwise solidly growing economy.

Leadership and support

Our team is hugely motivated to work with this strong community of anti-corruption leaders from our partner agencies to tackle these issues, including the National Prosecution Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre and Zambia Revenue Authority.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the FCDO and the British High Commission in this endeavour.

We also thank the core donors to our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), namely the Governments of Jersey, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.