- Access our new report on Data Protection in Africa, prepared for the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
- The report aims to understand and analyse the context and major barriers to effective data protection in the fourteen African OGP members and to make informed recommendations that strengthen data protection on the African continent.
The global adoption of data protection legislation has been slow. Only 66 per cent of countries in the world have legislation in force, while an additional 10 per cent have draft legislation. African countries are behind this global trend, with only 52 per cent having data protection legislation in force. Of the OGP’s fourteen African members, ten states have enacted data protection legislation, these are: Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Tunisia. Malawi and Nigeria, have draft legislation, and Liberia and Sierra Leone have no law at all.
Significantly, all fourteen African OGP members recognise the right to privacy domestically, and there is growing consensus that the right (as well as the right to be free of unlawful discrimination, bias, or any other denial of due process) must evolve to include considerations of data protection. Importantly, it was noted throughout the report that the regulation of data protection must strike an appropriate balance with important human rights, such as access to information and freedom of expression.
This report aims to understand and analyse the context and major barriers to effective data protection in the fourteen African OGP members and to make informed recommendations that strengthen data protection on the African continent. In doing so, this report focuses on three thematic areas that are of particular interest to OGP: transparency, accountability, and participation. Within these thematic areas, eighteen focus areas were analysed, consisting of common mechanisms included in data protection legislation that enable an effective framework and contribute to greater transparency, accountability, and participation.
OGP is thankful to the following stakeholders who generously gave their time to contribute to this report and whose input has been invaluable: Alison Tilley, Amrit Labhuram, Anri Van der Spuy, Chawki Gaddes, Fatou Jagne, Gabriella Razzano, ‘Gbenga Sesan, Grace Bomu, Hlengiwe Dube, Mugambi Laibuta, Mustafa Mahmoud, Teki Akuetteh Falconer, and the four stakeholders who wished to remain anonymous.
For the drafting of this report, OGP is grateful to Tara Davis of ALT Advisory, supported by Avani Singh and Wendy Trott. For initial reviews of the preliminary draft of this report, OGP is thankful to Michael Power, Joseph Foti, Sandy Arce, and Jessica Hickle.
Download the report (5.5mb)