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Data Protection Africa maps the state of data protection laws and policy in Africa to advance the right to privacy on the continent.

It is a Special Project of ALT Advisory.

Why data protection matters

The right to privacy is a fundamental human right, and an enabler of many other human rights, such as freedom of expression, dignity, and freedom from discrimination.

The rise of digital technologies has led to huge increases in digital data collection across the world. Effective data protection regulation is key to protecting people’s rights in the modern era by preventing the unauthorised use of personal information.

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of African countries with laws enacted to protect against the abuse of personal data. The majority of African countries now have a data protection law in place.

However, regulation has often failed to keep up with the rapid development of technology. Despite encouraging progress overall, a significant number of African states do not yet have data protection laws, and many existing laws face implementation challenges or loopholes.

This platform seeks to inform the research, activism, and public participation that is required to develop and implement meaningful laws and policies for data protection in Africa.

History of Data Protection Africa

Data Protection Africa is a Special Project of ALT Advisory, a public interest advisory group based in South Africa working on emerging human rights issues in Africa and across the world.

Data Protection Africa was first launched in 2019. The development of Phase 2 of Data Protection Africa was supported by a grant from the Strategic Advocacy Fund. The development of Phase 3 was supported by funding from:

  • the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Information Program of the Open Society Foundations;
  • Luminate; and
  • the Africa Mradi programme of the Mozilla Foundation.

This work was also informed by research conducted with the Open Government Partnership on a subset of African countries.


Learn more about the methodology behind our analysis here.

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