I&J Report on African Data & Digital Dialogues

Published on
July 4, 2022

As part of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network Cross-border Digital Policies for Africa Project, the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network has released a short report on some of the key takeaways from workshops held with stakeholders from Africa. 

The report outlines some of the current themes, opportunities, and complexities of the cross-border digital policy landscape in Africa. Topics ranged from the nature of data, capacity building, policy reform, problem-solving, sovereignty, justice, and (African) agency, security, the need for trusted environments, and more”, says Tracy Sinkamba Faustin, International Research & Project Management Coordinator, at the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

The Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network Cross-border Digital Policies for Africa Project seeks to leverage existing networks of actors to frame, map and address cross-border digital policy issues across Africa. The project aims to help policymakers understand the cross-border dimensions of digital policy approaches and their effects.

As part of the project, two Knowledge Dialogue Workshops were organized in December 2021 and February 2022 to identify the challenges the continent faces regarding the development of digital technologies, and to foster coordination among policy experts around the world, particularly in Africa.  

The workshops highlighted that data policy is a central and urgent concern. Participants voiced the necessity for data policies to shift the currently uneven distribution of opportunities both between and within countries so as to enable Africa as a whole to benefit from the data-driven technologies and ensure that these benefits are shared equitably among all its inhabitants.

The takeaways of the workshops are reflected in a consolidated synthesis report “African Data & Digital Dialogues Report”, which is now available in English and in French. The report was presented at the Africa Data Collection Event organized in a hybrid format (Malawi) on the occasion of the African Internet Governance Forum (IGF), on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

Following the data collection, a key outcome of the project will be the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network Regional Status Report "Framing, Mapping and Addressing Cross-Border Digital Policies in Africa", which will map and showcase legal and technical approaches to cross-border digital policies. The report is being prepared by a team at Research ICT Africa (RIA).

This project is enabled with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).