As the 1st Africa Data Protection (Virtual) Conclave holding today, 15th and tomorrow, 16th October 2020 commences, LEGAL BUSINESS sits with Bidemi Olumide, CEO Taxaide Technologies Limited, the chief conveners and Partner, AO2 Law, to discuss the conference.
What inspired the decision to hold a cybersecurity and data protection conference with Africa as the focus?
The global conversations and development in the cybersecurity and data protection (together, Data Security) largely informed the decision. With 55 African countries, +30 of which have one form of Data Security legislation, a continental Convention (the Malabo Convention) on Data Security that has only been ratified by less 10 countries, and several other regional agreements on Data Security, it is just important that we have a continental conversation on Data Security. What are the challenges with the Malabo Convention which has not seen it significantly progress in 6 years? What rules apply in the different African jurisdictions on Data Security? Is there a possibility for harmonization with Agenda 2063 in view? What institutions, regulations, administrative machineries and judicial reforms need to be put in place for effective Data Security on the continent? These and more were the questions that birthed the need for the Africa Data Protection Conclave.
There have been agitations and initiatives for the emergence of a uniform framework for data protection and cybersecurity in Africa. What quantifiable effects will the emergence of a uniform framework for data protection and cybersecurity have on Nigeria and Africa?
Immense effect. For one, the personal data interchange market continues to grow as the volume of electronic transactions between and among African countries rise. Also, the presence of multi-national companies with varied branches across African countries continue to necessitate the need for more certainty on the Data Security laws and rules in the different jurisdictions. The homogeneity of these laws, especially on their principles, can only further engender data and related trade. With a population of 1.3billion, a population that is less than each of China and India, Africa can as well coordinate certain aspects of its business landscape to ensure greater ease for domestic and foreign investments.
Tech, cybersecurity, and data protection have increasingly become hot topics in business and legal practice, especially, in the” new normal”. What do you consider to be the essentials of a legal practitioner in this sector?
That rather rare ability to unlearn and relearn, especially from complimentary disciplines. The multi-disciplinary lawyer is the future (nay, reality) of the legal profession.
What sort of engagement should we look forward to, from the lineup of speakers and panelists at this event?
Impactful, audacious, visionary and actions-focused.
This is the 1st Africa Data Protection (Virtual) Conclave. Can we expect this to be a reoccurring event?
Yes; it is designed as an annual conversation that sets the actions-agenda for the next plus/minus 365 days. It is a knowledge-to-action initiative driven by Africans for the good of Africa and global commerce in the Data Security space.