Protection of Personal Data in sub-Saharan Africa

http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00102854-15
http://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/peid=D00102854
urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00102854-15
Makulilo, Alex B.
2012
Universität Bremen: Rechtswissenschaften
Privacy,Data protection, sub-Saharan Africa
Africa is by far the least developed continent in terms of protection of personal data. At present there are 11 countries out of 54 which have implemented comprehensive data privacy legislation. Nine of them namely, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Senegal and Seychelles belong to sub-Saharan Africa. The other two countries, Morocco and Tunisia, belong to North Africa. Yet, there are seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa with either Bills or drafts on data privacy pending before their respective legislative or executive bodies. These include Ivory Coast (Cote d Ivoire), Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and South Africa. The rest of African countries have neither Bills nor drafts of such laws. The dominant discourse on privacy and data protection advances the culture of collectivism as the reason for the state of privacy and regulation in Africa. Founded on the normative assumptions of the old debates engraved in universalism and cultural relativism, the main argument held in this discourse is that Africa s collectivism denies an individual a space to advance claims for privacy. The present study sought to interrogate this dominant discourse and in particular investigating the emerging trends of adopting comprehensive data privacy legislation in Africa. To avert from the inherent pitfalls of normative assumptions, this study engaged a hybrid methodology. It triangulated the doctrinal, empirical and international comparative law methodologies. Moreover, in order to gain in-depth insights of the state of privacy, the study delimited to three sub-Saharan African countries: Mauritius, South Africa and Tanzania as cases. Based on documents collected and interviews held, this study has found that although collectivist culture is an important factor in explaining the limited state of privacy in Africa, it is not a catch-all phenomenon. Instead, technological, economic, political and social processes have significantly affected privacy consciousness and consequently the systems of privacy and data protection in the continent.
DDC
340
2012.11.21/12:45:12
Protection of Personal Data in sub-Saharan Africa
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