The Privacy Symposium Africa, the continent’s Mkutano

On 24th April 2022, together with CIPIT, We officially launched this year’s roadmap to the fourth edition of the annual Pan African Privacy symposium, codenamed “Privacy Symposium Africa” (PSA), happening again this year, between 2nd and 4th November 2022 in Nairobi.

The launch is followed by Regional engagements like the just concluded exciting Southern Africa Privacy Regional engagement that was graced by privacy and data protection, emerging technologies practitioners, and distinguished members of the academia, who meticulously discussed regional regulatory challenges around privacy and data protection vis-a-vis technology.

This engagement is one of the several alike ‘stop-overs’ that will continue happening at the regional level until the main annual event happening in Nairobi.

The annual event is intended to continuously bring together stakeholders both from the public and private sectors to develop and share their visions and shape data protection and privacy agendas, narrative, and good practices on the African continent.

Why must Africa engage?

Africa is a coat of many colors; its 1.39 billion people (with the youngest tech-savvy) population is equivalent to 16.72% of the total world population projected to continue growing by 2.45 percent. Further, Africa is the world’s largest free-trade zone, and a cocktail of such ‘favors’ make it one of the 4th Industrial Revolution’s ‘oil wells’- data, more especially after the commendable strides towards digitalization.

Therefore, Africa is susceptible to both unscrupulous and well-intentioned data collection and processing from States, and both domestic and international Bigtech conglomerates.

This appetite demonstrated by both private and public entities, unpunctuated by African States’ laxity to either enact or enforce data protection and privacy laws and the continued growth and operation of emerging technologies necessitate stakeholders’ continuous conversions around technology and data protection and privacy regulation in Africa.

The Privacy Symposium Africa being a mélange of interesting activities stretching from privacy experts panel discussions, and master classes to the presentation of research papers on topical issues including cloud storage, surveillance, artificial intelligence, and cross-border data sharing and how they affect data protection and privacy rights, is a sufficient reason to keep you on the needle and pins of anticipation.

What else must you know?

It is now a culture for us to publish a scorecard report profiling how data collectors and processors were chosen on the criteria of the most used, we investigated and profiled how some platforms from the banking, eCommerce and telecommunication sectors have performed in terms of data compliance.

The interesting bit of this year’s scorecard report is the coverage of companies with slightly a continental reach and how they have complied with the data protection and privacy laws of Uganda and Kenya.

This, among others, is intended to be an accountability and transparency tool to be used by civil society, the public, and regulators to monitor compliance and hold the actors accountable.

What is the target audience?

We have arranged a blend of panelists consisting of policy analysts and makers and business organizations. We believe the engagements will influence the best Data protection and privacy compliance standards and laws tilted toward best international practices and instruments.

The Unwanted Witness is a Civil Society Organization (CSO) established to respond to the gap in effective communication using various online expression platforms.