The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the second edition of the Advanced Human Rights Course on  Data Protection in Africa (Course). The five-day intensive online Course was organized by the Expression, Information and Digital Rights (EIDR) Unit of the Centre from 6 to 10 November 2023. This marks the second consecutive year that the Centre has organized the Course. The first edition of the Course was held from 19 to 23 September 2022. Building on the success of the first edition, this year's Course featured 19 sessions, each led by expert facilitators in the field of data protection addressing a wide range of issues in the African context.

The Course kicked off with a warm welcome from Prof Magnus Killander, the Academic Coordinator for the LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) Programme and Mr Dennis Antwi, Programme Manager, Advanced Human Rights Courses.

The first day of the Course covered an introduction to data protection; a comparative analysis of Africa in the global data protection order and an assessment of major aspects of data protection laws in African countries. The second day delved into topics such as a tech company perspective on data protection and the United Nations General Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs); data protection as a field of practice in Africa; a typology of data protection actors in Africa and a guide to conducting data protection impact assessments.

Day three addressed crucial themes such as developing and implementing data protection frameworks in Africa; gender and data protection in Africa; oversight and data protection and regional actors and adequacy requirements for cross-border data flows in Africa. On the fourth day, together with facilitators, participants explored topics ranging from designing regulatory sandboxes for data protection to generative artificial intelligence and data protection, regional digital trade and data protection and data protection for digital IDs in Africa. The final day included sessions on the meaning, features, and functions of data protection authorities; an African regulator’s perspective on data protection; access to remedy for data subjects in data protection law and public participation in data protection law.

The sessions were facilitated by a distinguished group of experts, including academics, researchers, data regulators, and industry professionals who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Course. These included  Dr Tomiwa Ilori (Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Human Rights), Dr Prof Emeritus Bertil Cottier (University of Lausanne), Dr Lukman Abdulrauf (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin), Mugambi Laibuta (Doctoral Candidate, University of Witwatersrand),  Dr Andrew Rens (Senior Research Fellow, Research ICT Africa),  Nelson Okeyo (Doctoral Candidate, University of Bayreuth),  Dr Olayinka Adeniyi (Researcher, Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University),  Dr Patricia Boshe (Data Protection Trainer, University of Passau), Dr Fola Adeleke (Global Atlantic Fellow, London School of Economics), Dr Angeline Wairegi (Research Manager, Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology) and Dr Rogers Alunge (Data Responsibility Consultant, University of Twente). 

Other facilitators included Dr Ololade Shyllon (Head of Privacy Policy, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, Meta), Gabriella Razzano (Executive Director, Open Up), Uyoyo Edosio (Principal ICT4D Expert, African Development Bank Group), Dr Talkmore Chidede (Digital Trade Expert at the Secretariat of  African Continental Free Trade Area), Hilda Barasa (Senior Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change), Mercy King’ori (Lead Policy Analyst, Africa, Future of Privacy Forum), Dr Vincent Olatunji (National Commissioner, the Nigeria Data Protection Commission),  and Grace Githaiga  (CEO/Convenor, Kenya ICT Action Network). The diverse backgrounds of the facilitators enriched the Course and provided participants with diverse perspectives on the multifaceted challenges of data protection in Africa.

There were more than 43 participants in this year’s cohort. The participants reflected a diverse representation from various sectors including academia, the legal profession, the private sector, civil society organizations, governments and many others. In the post-event evaluation, participants lauded the Course design and delivery for engaging with core and emerging areas of data protection in Africa and highlighted the need for the Course to continue next year.

The Course concluded with closing remarks by Dr Tomiwa Ilori who thanked facilitators, moderators and participants for their contributions to the success of the Course. Dr Ilori also expressed gratitude to Google for supporting the Course and enabling the Centre for Human Rights to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge and capacity building in the field of data protection in Africa.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Tomiwa Ilori
Postdoctoral Research Fellow & Project Coordinator Expression, Information & Digital Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4397
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743

Mr Dennis Antwi
Project Manager:
Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC)

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4197
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743


 Subscribe to our newsletter