July also saw the start of a two-year capacity building programme driven by RIA as part of the GIZ-funded implementation phase of the African Union Data Policy Framework in Addis Ababa. The Data Policy Framework is inclusive and forward-looking to enable member states to participate in a single African digital economy by cooperating to share data responsibly and co-create the infrastructure necessary for Africans to participate equitably in the continent’s digital economy.
The African Union convened the first round of training for three AU Regional Economic Communities: the East African Community, the Economic Community of West Africa, and the Southern African Development Community. AUDA-NEPAD and Smart Africa, who were part of the original task team established to develop the Framework, were also there to share their expertise.
Over three intensive days, the RIA team – made up of Dr. Andrew Rens, Hanani Hlomani, Dr. Roland Banya and Jackie Akello – familiarised participants with the Framework and with using its implementation plan and accompanying capacity self assessment tool and measurement and evaluation guide. Participants worked together on how best to realise the Framework through building foundational data infrastructure, ensuring legitimate and trustworthy data systems, making institutional arrangements for the regulation of complex adaptive digital systems, and instituting data governance.
As part of the implementation phase, the AU Commission has also developed a responsibility matrix to which the AU’s Regional Economic Communities and other affected parties are contributing. This will be finalised over the next few weeks and will provide another layer of guidance for domestication of the Framework at the national level.
The workshop was supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the DataCipation programme.