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News: Gov’t initiates standardization of national data management through new regulation, while legislators deliberate on the personal data protection bill

This week, leaders and experts from both governmental and non-governmental organizations within the ICT sector gathered to provide further insights into the draft regulation aimed at supervising the management of national data (Photo: Ministry of Innovation and Technology/Faceboo)

Addis Abeba – A regulation designed to oversee the management of national data is currently in development to address the escalating production and demand for data in Ethiopia.

Officials state that the regulation will delineate the proper protocols for national-level data management and legal procedures for data transfer.

It also encompasses the comprehensive administration and safeguarding of data assets, covering the spectrum from collection and storage to processing, sharing, and usage.

This week, leaders and experts from both government and non-governmental organizations in the ICT sector convened to contribute additional insights to the draft regulation.

Yeshurun Alemayehu, state minister for innovation and technology, emphasized the imperative to establish an effective management and control system due to the surging demand for data in Ethiopia.

He also highlighted the necessity of digitizing and converting raw data stored across various institutions into valuable resources.

Recently, the House of Peoples Representatives deliberated on the Personal Data Protection Bill, which received endorsement from the Council of Ministers in October 2023.

Earlier this week, the Standing Committee on Law and Justice Affairs of the parliament engaged in a dialogue with stakeholders concerning the bill.

During the discussion, the Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD) asserted that the entity responsible for safeguarding personal data should function as an independent institution accountable to the parliament.

Nevertheless, the draft proposed establishing the institution under the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA). Representatives from CARD suggested a reconsideration of this arrangement.

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The organization has issued comprehensive comments on the bill, which its leaders say will be submitted to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice Affairs.

Nevertheless, Balcha Reba, director general of the ECA, asserted during the discussion that the rationale behind the bill’s proposal to establish the institution under the Authority is to ensure the independence of the process from the executive body, allowing it to effectively carry out its functions. AS

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