Data protection in Africa

February 16, 2023

by Rhema Sijuwade

African States strengthen their data protection laws

According to the advocacy organisation ‘Internet Society’, more than 17 African countries have implemented extensive data protection legislations. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that 33 countries have some form of data protection legislation in place.

The data protection industry in Nigeria is significantly growing. The National Data Protection Bureau has announced that 500,000 jobs will be created through the expansion of Nigeria’s data protection industry. The minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has stated that the NDPB is valued at N5.5 billion. Pantami has emphasized the importance of data protection regulations and institutions to facilitate investments in Nigeria as well as, data privacy being a constitutional right for law abiding citizens.

Many African countries experienced high numbers of malware attacks on their industrial control systems in 2022. It has been reported that 47% of malware attacks transpired in Africa. Ethiopia experienced the highest number of malware attacks. Though Ethiopia does not have an all-inclusive legal instrument governing privacy and data protection, they are in the process of legislating the Data Protection Proclamation which will introduce a Personal Data Protection Commission.

Many nations are following the privacy guidelines provided by the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection to instill trust and to create an environment in which personal data is used responsibly. Smile Identity has contributed to these efforts through raising money for compliance solutions in African markets. The company announced that they will continue to work with data regulators to enforce African data protection laws.

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)