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Harmonizing Africa’s Data Governance: Challenges and Solutions

By Donrich Thaldar

The establishment of a single data market across African nations promises significant socio-economic advantages, facilitating unrestricted and fluid data exchange. This concept has captured the attention of political leaders and has been prominently featured in the African Union’s (AU) Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa, as well as the AU’s Data Policy Framework. Further, entities like Smart Africa are actively championing the cause of creating an African single data market.

To transform the vision of an African single data market into reality, and to unlock its potential benefits for the continent’s populace, establishing regulatory alignment is paramount. This necessitates the integration of markets, the implementation of uniform online payment systems, the standardization of taxation and duties, and cross-border trade facilitation. This article delves into two critical legal dimensions of cross-border trade facilitation: data privacy and data ownership.

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