14 June 2019

Africa: Ghana Host First Africa Data Protection and Privacy International Conference, June 24-27

Ghana is to host the first Africa Region Data Protection and Privacy International Conference this month with 1,000 data protection experts and their counterparts from across the world expected to converge on Accra.

The two-day event, slated for June 24 to 27, is on the theme "A conference in Africa, by African Authorities, focused on Africa". The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will open the conference on June 26.

The conference will create the platform for participants to deliberate on contemporary national and global issues in the data protection sector and proffer solutions.

It is being organised by the Ministry of Communications through the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in collaboration with Network of African Data Authorities.

Mrs Patricia Adusei-Poku, Executive Director of DPC, who announced this at a media engagement in Accra on Wednesday said all was set for the event which would promote the enactment of Data Protection and Privacy Laws in Africa.

She said issues to be discussed included the alignment between privacy and the right to information and third party contractors and the safeguarding of national databases.

Participants, she said, would deliberate on acceptable national identification and challenges specific to the region; the pace of digitisation and the security of personal data; emerging technologies, artificial intelligence and ethics issues.

Financial inclusion and cashless system through mobile technology and the need or otherwise for African churches implement a privacy programme would be discussed, according to Mrs Adusei-Poku.

International bodies attending the conference, she said, included the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Right to Privacy, the African Union, African Telecommunication Union and European Commission.

She said Ghana had taken positive steps within the digital sector and was one of the first four countries in Africa and the second Anglophone country, besides Mauritius, to ratify the Malibu Convention on Cyber Security and Data Protection.

Hosting this international event, she said reaffirmed the government's commitment to securing the privacy of citizens as a fundamental Human Right "as Ghana scales up our digitisation efforts as part of the national transformation agenda to position Ghana as the gateway to Africa."

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