By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, June 26, GNA
– Ghana, as a signatory to the Council of Europe International Convention on
cybercrime is currently preparing to accede to the Convention 108+ on Data
Vice President Dr
Mahamudu Bawumia made this known in a speech read on his behalf on Wednesday in
Accra at the formal opening of the maiden Africa Regional Data Protection and
Privacy Conference on the theme: “A Conference in Africa, by African
Authorities, Focused on Africa”, is underway in Accra.
The Convention for
the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal
Data was opened for signature on 28 January 1981 and it is still the only
binding international treaty in this field.
The Vice President
said Africa was striving to benchmark the international best practice standards
of the Council of Europe Convention 108+ on
Data Protection; stating that four African countries Tunisia, Cape Vade,
Senegal and Mauritius had acceded to the Convention, while Burkina Faso and
Morocco had been invited to accede.
He said Ghana had an
observer status and was preparing to accede to the Convention.
He said the key
requirements of the instrument regarding trans-border data processing,
improving transparency and autonomy of supervisory authority remained a challenge
in the sub-region.
He said Data
Protection Regulations were one of the surest ways of ensuring protection
citizens, companies, and countries against the intended or unintended
consequences of data leakage such as theft and reputational damage.
encourage open frank, and transparency deliberations between all parties
contributing to the shaping of policies that will be instrumental in securing
our digital journey for the years to come,” he said.
He said Ghana was
one of four African countries and one of two English speaking countries apart
from Mauritius, which had signed the African Union’s Malabo Convention.
He said the Signing
of this Conventions were indicative of Ghana’s willingness to partner other
nations on Data Protection issues.
He encouraged other
sister African countries to do same to support data protection across the
continent and standardized processes in their respective countries.
Bawumia said the challenges in Africa with regard to data protection was also
the result of inadequate expertise in data management and data protection.
He said in spite of
these concerns, the African region had been reluctant in enacting random data
protection laws and the establishment of supervisory authorities.
He said less than 17
out of the 54 countries in the region had pass data protection laws; adding
that it was for this reason that the conference had assembled global experts to
focus on the region and to present solutions to the challenges.
He recalled that the
Common Trade Network (CTN) established in October 2014 linked data protection
and privacy regulators across Commonwealth countries and the same time
encourages governments that do not yet have privacy regulators to create laws
to protect privacy.
He noted that the
network was setup to enable the sharing of experience, sharing of knowledge and
expertise across Commonwealth nations on privacy and data protection issues and
also tackling issues such as increase used of the internet, international data transfers
and the cloud.
He said Ghana had
also pass the Data Protection Act 2012; Act 843 to regulate the protection of
personal data; stating that “additionally, we have also establish a Data
Protection Commission to implement the law and guarantee the data safety”.
He said the Ghana
Data Protection Commission was also in an advance stage of registering all
firms that generated or stored personal data; and had so far successfully
registered 1,805 data controllers and processors.
The conference is
being hosted by the Ghana Data Protection Commission (DPC) in collaboration
with the Network of African Data Protection Authorities and the Ministry of
Its objective is to
create a platform for experts to discuss how Africa as a region rises to the
challenge of the Global Data Protection, which is safeguarding of personal data
as a fundamental human right.
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