Stakeholders in data protection and privacy have converged on Accra to discuss and proffer solutions to emerging issues in the sector across the continent.
Participants include information and communications technology industry players, policymakers, regulators, researchers, lawmakers, data protection practitioners, and privacy experts.
Among the issues being discussed are generative artificial intelligence (AI), data transfers across Africa, data protection and identity systems in Africa, as well as digital trade, data protection, and the African Continental Free Trade Agreements.
The two-day summit which commenced yesterday is a flagship programme of the Africa Digital Rights Hub (ADRH) which is held annually across the continent in collaboration with the organisation’s partners.
It is on the theme: “Building bridges for oversight and accountability.”
A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Jennifer A. Dadzie, urged stakeholders to harness the power of collaboration, innovation, and cooperation to create a future where the privacy and security of personal data are protected.
He said in the ever-evolving digital landscape where there was a free flow of information and boundaries were blurred, robust protection of personal data had become a paramount concern.
Justice Dadzie said African countries, including Ghana, faced a unique challenge of safeguarding the privacy and security of citizens’ data.
He cited limited resources, inadequate legislation, and a lack of awareness as obstacles to establishing effective oversight mechanisms and called on African countries to unite and forge pathways toward enhanced oversight and accountability to address those challenges.
“Building bridges for oversight and accountability requires a collective endeavor and cooperation among all stakeholders; it necessitates the collaboration of governments, regulatory bodies, civil society organisations, and the private sector.
“Together, we can pave the way for a brighter, more accountable digital era in African countries.
By working hand in hand, we can bridge the gaps and establish a robust system of oversight and accountability,” Justice Dadzie added.
A governing council member of ADRH, Kwesi Quartey, said his outfit’s objective was to promote an ‘afro- centric’ solution garnered through discourse and research to ensure no one was left behind in the protection and guarantee of fundamental rights in the digital age.
He mentioned unauthorised, unlawful, insensitive, or ignorant processing of personal data as emerging issues posing danger to individuals, corporates, and governments on the continent.
“The purpose of data protection is, therefore, more important today in the light of the risks of harm to humanity and their fundamental rights and freedoms,” Mr Quartey said.
He, therefore, said the summit was designed to provide participants the opportunity to learn, share, network and proffer solutions that would help grow the continent in the area of privacy.
Source: Graphic Online