Brian Daigle


As the 55 African countries of the African Union (AU) move towards greater integration of trade policies through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), one area of noted trade policy divergence is the governance of digital trade. In particular, African nations’ rules governing the protection of personal data are a patchwork, with some countries offering little to no protection policy while others have extensive digital governance frameworks. Given that internet connectivity, broadband access, and digital trade have coincided with broader economic development, the extent to which African nations form policies governing the digital landscape can also shape development across the whole continent. This paper explores how personal data are currently governed among AU member states, noting common trends and areas of divergence. It also takes a closer look at the data protection policies of Egypt, Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, and Rwanda.