By Adedeji Adeniran and Ezra Ihezie
Adedeji Adeniran, Research Director, and Ezra Ihezie, Research Associate, Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) explain why we need to unlock the potential of data in a responsible and inclusive way.
In today's digital age, data has become an invaluable asset, driving innovation, economic growth and societal development. Africa, with its vast population and diverse landscapes, has immense potential to harness data to transform a variety of sectors. However, to effectively harness the power of data, responsible data governance is essential. This blog post explores the concept of responsibly unlocking the value of data for all, the evolution of data governance efforts in Africa and the potential of sandboxes to foster cross-border data sharing.
Data matters: how to unlock its potential in a responsible and inclusive way
Data is often metaphorically referred to as the new oil. Alluding to this comparison, responsible data governance involves refining data (the new crude oil) into value and innovation for society. Responsibly unlocking the value of data for all involves creating an inclusive data ecosystem that benefits individuals, businesses, governments and society. This concept underlines the importance of data governance frameworks that prioritise fair access, protection and ethical use of data. It emphasises the promotion of privacy, security, transparency and accountability within these frameworks. In addition, it requires tackling issues of data inequality to ensure that marginalised communities have access to data-driven innovations. By creating such an ecosystem, we foster diversity, competition, innovation and collaboration while harnessing data for positive ends, recognising and mitigating the limitations and uncertainties inherent in data.