African Data Protection Authorities, Smart Africa sign MoU to harmonise Data protection laws

Key Issues Politics

GNA-Smart Africa Alliance (SA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Network of African Data Protection Authorities (NADPA/RAPDP) to provide institutional support and enhance the enforcement capacities of the African National Authorities.

Initial discussions between Smart Africa and NADPA/RAPDP began in November 26, 2021 in Benguerir, Morocco on the need to join forces as a region to enforce the harmonization of the data protection laws as a matter of regional interest.

After successful deliberations both parties convened at Dakar in Senegal to have append their signatures to an MOU opening a new chapter of a Pan African roadmap to achievable data protection goals.

The MoU took effect on March 10th, 2022 laying the ground of a genuine pan African dialogue and cooperation.

Specifically, the NADPA/RAPDP and SA are coming together to support national data strategies and enforcement of data protection regulations in order to create a harmonized framework for data protection policies and regulation in Africa.

It will support African States in preparing or updating legislation on the protection of privacy and personal data, and in establishing data protection authorities;

The MoU will help develop and conduct joint capacity building modules for African Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) through Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) whenever possible and develop initiatives for enhanced legal collaboration between African Data Protection Authorities to support the digitalization of the continent.

Executive Director of Ghana’s Data Protection Commission and President of the Network of African Data Protection Authorities, Madam Patricia Adusei Poku, intimated that organisations had reached a new milestone and were now ready to enter into such a partnership that would not only achieve pledged commitments from a data governance and data protection legal harmonization point of view but also for the development of a regional training and certification for African data protection professionals, in order to address the skills deficit in the African data protection field.

Commenting on the strategic signing of the MOU, the CEO of Smart Africa, Lacina Koné registered her excitement on working together with NADPA/RAPDP to enforce capacities for data protection policies and intensify the pan African collaboration. She further noted that the MoU will help facilitate and accelerate harmonization and legal collaboration between member states, a move which is in line with the Malabo Convention as well as the new Continental Data Policy Framework of the African Union Commission.

Mr Awa Ndiaye, President of the CDP Senegal, said the MOU represented a strategic framework for design and sharing between key players in the protection of personal data.

He added that it was in line with initiatives to make Africa a safe and enabling space for digital transformation.

Source: Ghana News Agency