The University of Ghana School of Law in collaboration with the University of Passau in Germany, and with support from the German Embassy in Ghana is set to establish a knowledge hub – African Data Protection Law and Policy Centre, a centre for in-depth study of issues concerning data in the African context.
“As an institution of learning, the University of Ghana cannot sit by and simply watch what is happening in this momentous area, without trying to make a contribution to it”, Professor Raymond A. Atuguba, Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law disclosed this during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the African Data Protection Laws: Regulation, Practice and Policy Conference, at the University of Ghana School of Law Auditorium, on September 13, 2022.
In his address, Prof Atuguba noted that the creation of the African Data Protection Law and Policy Centre would allow researchers to examine the plaguing issues surrounding data collection and its use in Africa and prescribe directives in line with their findings to contribute toward policy creation in the area of Data Protection.
“This way policies we generate to be used in the protection of data would be more scientific because it would be thoroughly examined in research institutions such as ours. We, therefore, look forward to contributing to policy and having training programmes in conjunction with the Data Protection Commission for professionals and practitioners”, he noted.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for Academic and Students Affairs at the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon A. Awandare, who represented the Vice Chancellor noted that the primary focus of the African Data Protection Law and Policy Centre would be research, policy development and training on the regulation and protection of personal and non-personal data in Africa.
“The African Data Protection Law and Policy Centre proposes to pursue four main objectives based on its focus areas. These objectives are: to train and build the capacity of professionals on African Data Laws and Policies, including data protection; develop research projects that have an impact on the formulation of data laws and policies in Africa; serve as a platform for professionals, academics, policy and decision-makers to share experiences in this space; finally, to offer structured, executive professional courses and seminars and accredited academic programmes through hybrid teaching approaches”. He said.
Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku, Executive Director and Commissioner of the Data Protection Commission, expressed her excitement about Ghana’s initiative to set up a centre focused on Data Protection in Africa. She added that it will contribute to Ghana’s digitalisation process and the provision of ethical solutions to data protection and governance.
German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, was elated with the upcoming project and the benefits it had for the African continent. He also resounded Germany’s support for the project.
The African Data Protection Laws: Regulation, Practice and Policy Conference, was a 3-day conference which sought to shed light on the impounding issues regarding Data Protection in Africa and finding self-sustaining ways to improve on existent issues in the area of data protection. The conference also served as a platform for the launch of the Centre for African Data Law and Policies at the University of Ghana School of Law.
The conference brought together key experts across the globe in the field of Data Protection Laws and Regulations to discuss issues and laws affecting Africa’s Data Protection policies and regulations and ways to improve policy creation to make it more acceptable in the African context.
Below are some photographs from the 3-day conference.
Professor Moritz Hennemann, Director, Research Centre for Law and Digitalisation (FREDI) Chair of European and International Information and Data Law, University of Passau, Germany
Patricia Adusei-Poku, Executive Director and Commissioner of the Ghana Data Protection Commission
Ms. Teki Akuetteh, Senior Partner at Nsiah Akuetteh & Co. and Founder and Executive Director, Africa Digital Rights’ Hub, Ghana
A cross-section of participants
A group picture after the event