Harmonisation of data protection laws: Smart Africa, NADPA sign MOU

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MOU signed
MOU signed

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

The MOU serves as a new chapter that will pave way for a harmonized framework for data protection policies and regulation in Africa and as well as initiatives for an enhanced legal collaboration between African Data Protection Authorities to support the digitalization of the continent.

A release by the DPC copied to News Ghana, read, “Initial discussions between Smart Africa and NADPA/RAPDP began in November 26th,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.

Also support African States in preparing or updating legislation on the protection of privacy and personal data, and in establishing data protection authorities.

Develop and conduct joint capacity building modules for African Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) through Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) whenever possible, and ad well as develop in place 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, “organizations had reached a new milestone and were now ready to enter into such a partnership that will 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.”

Speaking 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.

He 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.

The President of the CDP Senegal, Awa Ndiaye, also emphasized that the MOU represents a strategic framework for design and sharing between key players in the protection of personal data.

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

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