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Published on : 2 Jun, 2023

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In exercise of its mandate as the EDPA, ESCCOM applied for membership to join the Network of African Data Protection Authorities. The Network of African Data Protection Authorities (NADPA/RAPDP) was established in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in September 2016, at a side event to the African forum on personal data protection. It currently comprises several African Privacy and Data Protection authorities from different geographical and linguistic areas, with the aim of setting up a platform for exchanges and co-operation between its members. The members include Data Protection Authorities from: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cape Verde, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya Mali, South Africa, Mali and others. The permanent secretariat and headquarters of the network is in Morocco.

The objectives of the Network are:

- organising close co-operation between its members to encourage the sharing of ideas and experience on issues pertaining to their tasks; 

- supporting states in preparing legislation on the protection of privacy and personal data, and in establishing data protection authorities;

- giving opinions and making statements on specific issues related to privacy and personal data protection;

- establishing a framework for consultation on the stakes and challenges concerning privacy and data protection which Africa faces;

- promoting African legal instruments on privacy and personal data protection and ensuring that they reflect the reality on the ground;

- co-operating with other African and international bodies and associations to entrench the right to privacy and personal data protection.

In its General Assembly held in Burkina Faso on 11th May 2023, ESCCOM as EDPA was duly granted full membership into the network together with Data Protection Authority from Rwanda and Mauritania. The ESCCOM Chief Executive, Mvilawemphi Dlamini, thanked the Network for the admission of ESCCOM and indicated that as a newly established EDPA, ESCCOM hopes to benefit a lot in terms of cooperation, skills sharing and overall coordination with African counterparts in enforcement of the data protection Act. The CE highlighted that as a new DPA, the network will provide ESCCOM with opportunities to benchmark and learn from some of the long established DPAs in the African continent with years of experience in data protection regulation. The Network congratulated the Kingdom of Eswatini for passing the Data Protection Act and designating ESCCOM as the EDPA.