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Governments are urged to create digital laws

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Governments in Africa have been urged to expand digital rights and inclusion.

The Paradigm Initiative (PIN), a pan-African digital rights and inclusion organization, has emphasized the increasing rate of digitization in African countries, aided by continued investments in local digital infrastructure, the development of cutting-edge technologies and enhanced user access, saying there is a great need to establish rights-respecting and inclusive practices in the digital world. Considering this, the group has urged African governments, including Nigeria, to expand digital rights and inclusion across Africa by formulating favorable laws and policies.

This appeal was made by the social enterprise representatives and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) at the just concluded PIN festival in Harare, Zimbabwe, which was held to celebrate the collective behind-the-scenes efforts toward advancing digital rights and inclusion in Africa over the years. The festival’s Executive Director at PIN, Gbenga Sesan, said several African governments have made significant progress towards improving privacy online, data protection and providing affordable Internet access. Nevertheless, there is still much to be done to bridge the digital gap.

Stressing the organization’s responsibilities in ICT.

Sesan reiterates that the Paradigm Initiative has been in existence for 15 years now and has made gradual progress towards achieving digital transformation, a clear indication of the opportunities that exist towards protecting digital rights for all. Also, in her remark, Mrs. Anriette Esterhuysen, the Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), stressed the need for developing policies geared towards empowering individuals and strengthening their living capability through ICT. She attests that access to ICTs will enable individuals, communities, and institutions to be poised in a better position to act and resolve personal issues.

According to her, the Paradigm Initiative, since its launch in 2007, through digital opportunities and the protection of online rights, has had a positive influence on the lives of more than 5000 under-served African youths with improved livelihoods. Esterhuysen asserts that for over eight years, the organization has made a significant impact in advancing Internet freedom, proposing policy solutions and monitoring legal and policy frameworks around ICTs on the continent to ensure civil rights. This huge contribution has been bolstered by the organization’s expertise in ICT capacity building, research, and reports.

Several African countries have enacted protection laws.

Non-profit organizations and educational institutions have also benefited from the social enterprise contribution by receiving training on the usage of ICTs for digital security and online and social media advocacy through its annual digital rights reports, which have been converted into short films to attract a younger audience. PIN’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mrs. Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu, said the organization has played an important role in spearheading the development of public policy for Internet freedom in Africa and will continue to do so through its presence in Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Kenya.

Furthermore, Mrs. Thobekile Matimbe, PIN’s Partnerships and Engagements Manager, also stressed the need for the establishment of favorable policies, noting that the Zimbabwe government had enacted data protection laws, which is a step in the right direction. Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe now have comprehensive data protection laws. Countries like Tanzania and Ethiopia, among others, still do not have a single and comprehensive legal law regulating privacy and data protection.

Data protection is covered by the union in the region.

The data security laws have helped several African countries align with global data protection and privacy best practices. It represents a significant transformation in Africa’s regulatory landscape. Data protection in Africa is covered by the African Union Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data (2014), which has been ratified by all 55 members of the African Union. Hopefully, in the near future, we may witness more African countries enacting privacy laws to ensure better protection of personal and sensitive data.


Related Link

PIN: Website

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jdpumping
jdpumping
1 year ago

African government as one body needs to do more in order to protect data’s by providing digital laws for this to be achieved because digital rights and inclusion needs to be expanded.

Abusi
Abusi
1 year ago

We are in a digital era. There is need for digital laws which will govern these digital era we are. Artificial Intelligence should be guided by rules, so we won’t impair on other people’s digital right.

Christiana
Christiana
1 year ago

A number of African countries have made considerable strides in protecting online privacy, safeguarding personal data, and making the Internet accessible to the general populace at low cost.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
1 year ago

Several African nations have been able to comply with international standards for data protection and privacy thanks to the data security laws.

Bola12
Bola12
1 year ago

Through its annual digital rights reports, which have been adapted into short films to appeal to a younger audience, the social enterprise has also benefited non-profit organizations and educational institutions by providing training on the use of ICTs for digital security and online and social media advocacy.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
1 year ago

To be candid, considering the increasing rate of digitization we really need the digital protection law to protect our privacy online and against imposter and blackmailer.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
1 year ago

We need digital law to protect our data online and give privacy online African government should all come in one to make sure this is done and expanded so digital law can establish to protect our data

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
1 year ago

To ensure better protection of personal and sensitive data, there is need for digital laws which will govern these digital era. It should be encouraged among African countries generally.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
1 year ago

digital laws is needed to protect the privacy online data. Government should do the needful

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
1 year ago

A pan-African group that focuses on digital rights and inclusion has brought attention to the rapidly accelerating pace of digitalization in African nations.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
1 year ago

In the realm of digital technology, there is an urgent need to put in place processes that are both inclusive and respectful of individual rights.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
1 year ago

A number of African countries have made considerable strides in protecting users’ privacy online, lowering the cost of Internet connection, and other goals related to these areas.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
1 year ago

The Paradigm Initiative has been working toward the goal of digital transformation for the last 15 years, and it has achieved some measure of success along the way.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
1 year ago

It is encouraging that the organization has pushed African governments, particularly that of Nigeria, to increase digital rights and inclusion across Africa by drafting laws and policies that are favorable to these goals.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
1 year ago

We are already in the technological advanced world. We definitely need these digital rights and policies to effectively protect our privacy as the user in Africa continent

DimOla
DimOla
1 year ago

How digital rights is of paramount important to us an African seeing the world drifting into the age AI, technology advancement. We can’t afford to be left behind therefore our government in Nigeria here need to formulate digital laws that protect the digital rights of the users.

theApr
theApr
1 year ago

These digital laws are essential to protect digital rights of individuals in the cyber space. Some African countries still do not have a single and comprehensive legal law regulating privacy and data protection.

Remi1
Remi1
1 year ago

It is positive that the group has compelled African governments, particularly that of Nigeria, to expand digital rights and inclusion throughout Africa by formulating laws and policies that are supportive of these objectives.