Zambia is a peaceful, inclusive, resilient country with a diversified and industrialised green economy, and endowed with abundant wildlife and river bodies where its entire people enjoy their fundamental rights and have access to quality services and opportunities guided by principles of equality, equity, sustainability, and shared prosperity

The country is a landlocked democracy and lower-middle-income country in southern Africa. It shares borders with eight countries. In 2016, Zambia amended its Constitution to enshrine sustainable development among the national values and principles.

In 2021, the country gained eligibility to graduate from Least Developed Country status (a final decision to confirm Zambia’s graduation is being considered in 2024). However, in the challenges that the country faces, some groups are at greater risk than others.

These include prisoners of which limited integration of this key population dynamics into development planning and lack of data has hampered the country’s ability to effectively plan, monitor and evaluate development programs among both serving and former prisoners thereby resulting into recidivism (re-offending) that currently stands at 30%.

Established by prisoners themselves within Kamfinsa State Prison situated in Kitwe on the Copperbelt province in 1997, and officially registered on 29th April 2002, PRISCCA is anchored on a mandate to defend, protect and promote the rights of inmates and suspects in Zambia. The country has a total of 94 correctional facilities with a total population of about 23,000 inmates by early August 2022.

PRISCCA places renewed emphasis on enhancing the spirit of partnerships and collaborations with the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS), Zambia Police, the Legal Aid Board (LAB), and Judiciary to drive transformative change in the correctional facilities.

The Executive Director of PRISCCA who is also the founding stalwart Dr. Godfrey Malembeka, is an outspoken national human rights defender and a media advocacy crony and in an interview with the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) on Monday, 8th August 2022, through the Executive Producer Franklin Tembo Jr at 10:00 hours made an earnest appeal to Zambian President, His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, to take the “Prisoner Exchange Programme Policy” item to the next African Union (AU) Agenda Meeting.

Dr. Malembeka’s statement followed the hosting of a Mid-Term AU Summit in Zambia in July 2022, at the refurbished newly opened Kenneth Kaunda International Conference Centre in Lusaka. The Summit was attended by Heads of State of various AU countries.

Dr. Malembeka emphasised in the ZNBC interview that the proposed prisoner exchange programme policy item would be essential for all involved AU member countries for the enhancement of inclusive economic transformation, improved productivity and incomes, ensuring social protection for the involved prisoners and balancing economic, social, and environmental goals for sustainability.

The programme will also enhance the involved AU member country national efforts on human rights, inclusive governance, foster inclusion, safety, gender equality, access to justice, free movement, trade and sustaining peace and climate change. The marginalised and vulnerable prisoners would participate in and benefit from sustained peace, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, justice, non-discrimination, equality, and inclusive and transformative governance.


For ensuring a coherent and coordinated response to the AU countries that would take part in the prisoner exchange programme toward their national security priorities, the agenda will be configured to ensure that technical and financial resources are mobilised from the involved governments, development partners, stakeholders, and communities to implement the planned results for sustainable development and continuation of the programme.


The programme will enable the exchanged prisoners from the different involved countries to be active and productive law abiding economic factors once they return back to their countries of origin for reintegration and support from relatives and friends.

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