Smart Africa, NADPA sign MoU to harmonise data protection laws

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

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

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

The MoU took effect on March 10, 2022 laying the ground of a genuine Pan-African dialogue and co-operation.

Specifically, the Smart Africa Alliance and  NADPA  are coming together to support national data strategies and enforcement of data protection regulations in order to create a harmonised framework for data protection policies and regulation in Africa,  legislation on the protection of privacy and personal data, and in establishing data protection authorities.

Also as part of the MoU, the two organisations would develop and conduct joint capacity building modules for African Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) through Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) and develop in place initiatives for enhanced legal collaboration between African Data Protection Authorities to support the digitalisation of the continent. 

The Executive Director of Ghana’s Data Protection Commission (DPC)  and President of the NADPA,  Patricia AduseiPoku, 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 harmonisation 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 MoU, the Chief Executive Officer of Smart Africa, LacinaKoné, registered her excitement on working together with NADPA to enforce capacities for data protection policies and intensify the pan African collaboration. 

She further noted that the MoU would help facilitate and accelerate harmonisation and legal collaboration between member states, a move which was in line with the Malabo Convention as well as the new Continental Data Policy Framework of the African Union Commission.

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