Pending Legislation (in Africa) - Kenya Considers Unclaimed Property Law

Though it has its origins in ancient Rome and England, modern custodial unclaimed property laws (where the state takes possession of, but not title to, unclaimed property) are still primarily a U.S. phenomenon.  In the past several years, however, there has been a trend toward the establishment of such laws outside the U.S. (primarily in Europe and the Caribbean).  Now, however, it appears that modern unclaimed property laws may be gaining a foothold in Africa, as Kenya  is considering implementing a broad unclaimed property act.  Though the legislation is simply proposed at present, but would create a government entity to administer unclaimed funds, provide for a reporting and turnover process, and would allow owners to claim property held by the government.  Notably, the scope of the act would also be very broad, applying to bank deposits and nearly all forms of negotiable instruments.

A copy of the proposed legislation can be found here.

Based upon our quick review, we are not aware of any other countries in Africa that have unclaimed property laws.  If we've missed one, let us know here.

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