Ghana to host two-day international data protection conference
Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku, the Commissioner, Data Protection Commission, has urged all “Data Controllers” in the country to show compliance and accountability with the Data Protection Act.
Speaking at a media launch of the first Africa Data Protection and Privacy conference in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana, Madam Adusei-Poku said the Act sets out the rules and principles governing the collection use disclosure and care for personal data or information by a Data Controller or processor.
She said compliance with Data Protection Act applied to organisations in all sectors, both public and private and third sectors, NGOs, hence, the need to take it seriously.
The two-day conference, to be held in Accra from June 26 to 27, is in partnership with the Network of African Data Protection Authorities.
It would mark an important milestone in the roadmap towards promoting the enactment of Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.
It would bring together international stakeholders, including; the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights to Privacy, the African Union, the East African Community, the European Union and UK Information Commissioner.
Madam Adusei-Poku said countries across the Africa Region were enacting Data Protection and Privacy laws and establishing Supervisory Authorities in response to the increased use of technology, the pace of digitisation and the exponential growth of activity in the global cyberspace.
She said the Conference would being together established Authorities in Africa and their Global North counterparts for thought leadership, insight, best practice and high-level strategic content, providing a critical platform for promoting Africa’s drive for Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.
Some of the topics to be discussed include; ethical approaches and processing for the global good, data protection and privacy and financial inclusion in Africa, data protection and cyber space.
The Commission was established under the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843), to protect the privacy of the individual and personal data by regulating the processing of personal information.
The Commission said was committed to contributing effectively to the national transformation agenda by underpinning the efforts to safeguard and protect the rights of individuals through the enforcement of the requirements of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).
Mrs Rita Aba Tsegah, Regional Head Corporate Communications and Marketing, speaking at the launch said: “As a Pan African Bank with interest in the development of the sub-region, Ecobank looks forward to more African nations passing the protection act and an adoption of the convention 108+ as the international standard.”
She said with the propagation of broadband internet access and increasingly easy access to phones, exposure to information had become more likely.
Mrs Tsegah said unlike most developed countries where data-privacy laws provide some protection to internet users, in many African countries there was little or no remedy if a data breach occurs because of lack of regulatory framework.
“In many cases where they do, however, enforcement of these laws also has its challenges,” she said.
Mrs Tsegah said in alignment with Ecobank’s corporate culture the bank is registered under the data protection act and complies with the data protection laws, respecting the rights of valued customers.