The African Continent Free Trade Area (‘AfCFTA’) Protocol on Digital Trade (AfCFTA DTP) presents a significant opportunity to strengthen African digital solidarity. It could also advance a cohesive and strong African consensus and voice on digital trade regulation. This is especially significant, as Africa is relatively silent in global digital trade dialogues today. Building on the international law concept of international community and its African philosophical equivalent, Ubuntu, we offer a framing device to anchor digital solidarity and develop robust and inclusive Africa-centred digital trade norms. We first explore the relevance of community values in developing a regulatory framework for cross-border data flows in trade agreements, and then examine how shared values and digital solidarity can facilitate the development of a cohesive privacy and data protection regulatory framework in Africa.
This article consider the concept of digital and data sovereignty in Africa. It focuses on how the development of the digital economy can be effectively established in the African context, in light of Africa’s reliance on partnerships with third countries for internet access, and reliance on multinational service providers for access to consumer services with the digital economy.
A holistic and collaborative approach to data protection and inclusive economic growth is capable of spurring sustainable development, and reducing new patterns of inequalities occurring within South Africa and between South Africa and other nations in the context of the digital economy.
May 20, 2021