The Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) will be engaging with senior Zambian business, government and civil society leaders on 10 November in order to take the next step in establishing a Zambian Dispute Resolution Centre.
The Dispute Resolutions Centre will offer businesses in Zambia access to mediation, arbitration and adjudication services, which will significantly improve access to justice and reduce business exposure to lengthy and costly court litigation.
The Zambian Dispute Resolution Centre is being undertaken in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) (Zambia Branch). The Institute is the leading professional membership organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners in Zambia.
“The partnership between ZACCI and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators will ensure that the business community of Zambia is afforded the highest level of service. We will work closely with ZACCI and chair the Dispute Resolution Centre’s advisory council, which will provide oversight and strategic guidance. We are part of a respected global network operating in over 133 countries which will further allow the Zambian centre to tap into a wealth of international support and expertise,” comments Justice William Mweemba, Chairman, Institute of Arbitrators (Zambia chapter).
The cost of business disputes comprises not only amounts paid in legal fees but also the damage incurred by the business relationships as a result of those disputes. Research conducted in the UK showed that the cost of business disputes amounted to £33 billion in 2014. Over and above the headline economic cost, eight out of 10 disputes have a significant impact on the smooth running of business. The report showed that in a case of a dispute that is a million pounds in value, a company will spend an average of three years of managers’ time trying to resolve it. ZACCI believe that establishing a dispute settlement centre will bring faster, more efficient dispute resolutions options to Zambian business.
“ZACCI’s mandate is to work towards the improvement of our business environment in Zambia and find ways to assist companies increase trade opportunities. We believe that the Centre will bring significant benefits to business in the region and will go a long way in assisting our businesses manage risk and operate confidently both locally and internationally,” says Mr. Geoffrey Sakulanda, President of ZACCI.
ZACCI leadership has been consulting with public sector and business leaders over a number of years to fully understand their needs and, based on these engagements, has signed collaboration documents, developed a comprehensive strategy as well as a robust business plan for the Centre.
ZACCI has also been working with international chamber organisations which support the initiative.
“We have been working closely with the Chamber of Skilled Crafts (Handwerkskammer) Frankfurt Rhein-Main as well as Chamber Trade Sweden to set up the Centre. Both organisations have assisted in the journey and are firmly behind our future endeavours. We have benchmarked our service offering against international best practice, where chambers of commerce are recognised as the best institutions to run independent, non-partisan access to dispute resolution services for the business community,” comments ZACCI CEO, Ms. Prisca Chikwashi.
The workshop, taking place in Lusaka on 10th November 2016, will outline the plans for the Centre as well as opportunities for Zambian business to become involved.
Interested parties can contact ZACCI for more details on email@example.com or call +260 211 252 483