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Africa Privacy Law

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African privacy law is concerned with the protection and preservation of the privacy rights of its citizens.

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Privacy laws on the African continent are just beginning to emerge.  There are a few countries that have established legislation on data protection and privacy.  One of the reasons for such laws being developed is due to cross-border data flows.  If African states wish to exchange data with other countries, such as those in the EU, they must have laws in place that offer protections before those countries will even consider doing business with them.

Burkina Faso

  • Constitution, Article 6[1]

Article 6: The residence, the domicile, private and family life, secrecy of correspondence of every person are inviolable. It can only be affected according to the forms and in the cases specified by the law.

  • Law on Protection of Personal Information

Oversight: Commission de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CIL)[2]

Cape Verde

  • Habeas Data Law (Law No. 109-IV-94)


  • The Data Protection Act (2004)[3]

The purpose of the Data Protection Act is to provide for the protection of the privacy rights of individuals with regard to the capture, transmission, manipulation, recording or storage of data relating to individuals.

  • Data Protection Regulations (2009)

Oversight: Data Protection Office;[4] Ministry for Consumer Protection and Citizens Charter[5]


  • Law no. 09-08 on the Protection of Individuals in relation to the processing of personal data


  • Constitution, Articles 37 & 39(3)(a)[7]

Article 37: The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.

Article 39(3)(a): Nothing shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society - for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph films.


  • Constitution, Article 22[8]

South Africa[9]

  • Constitution, Article 14[10]

Article 14:

Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have ­

  1. their person or home searched;
  2. their property searched;
  3. their possessions seized; or
  4. the privacy of their communications infringed.
  • Discussion Paper 109 (Project 124), Privacy and Data Protection with draft law[11]
  • Consumer Protection Bill (Draft)[12]
  • The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA)[13]


  • Position Paper on E-Commerce[14]


  • The Organic Act n°2004-63 on the Protection of Personal Data (2004)[15]
  • Decree N°2007-3004 on the Conditions and Proceedings of Notification and Authorization for the Processing of Personal Data[16]

Oversight: National Authority for the Protection of Personal Data[17]


  • Constitution, Article 27 & 41[19]

Article 27: No person shall be subjected to unlawful search of the body, home or other property or to
unlawful entry of his or her premises.

Aricle 41: Every citizen has a right of access to information in the possession of the State or any other
organ of the State except where the release of the information is likely to interfere with the
security of the State or the right to the privacy of any other person.

  • The Uganda Communications Act[20]

Oversight: Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)[21]


  • Constitution, Article 17[23]

Article 17: no person shall be subjected to the search of his person or his property or the entry by others on his premises.

  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)(General Notice 116/2002)(2002)
  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Amendment) (Act No. 5 of 2003)[24]


  1. http://www.kituochakatiba.co.ug/Constitution%20%20BURKINA%20FASO.pdf
  2. http://www.cil.bf/quotidien/actualites/index.php#
  3. http://www.mofo.com/docs/mofoprivacy/DP%20Law.pdf
  4. http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/dataprotection
  5. http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/consumer
  6. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559511
  7. http://www.nigeria-law.org/ConstitutionOfTheFederalRepublicOfNigeria.htm
  8. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Rwanda#Article_22_.5BPrivacy.5D
  9. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559491
  10. http://www.info.gov.za/documents/constitution/1996/index.htm
  11. http://www.doj.gov.za/salrc/dpapers.htm
  12. http://www.thedti.gov.za/ccrdlawreview/DraftConsumerProtectionBill.htm
  13. http://www.acts.co.za/ect_act/index.htm
  14. http://www.lrct.or.tz/documents/Positionpaperone-COMMERCEadobe.pdf
  15. http://www.inpdp.nat.tn/version-anglaise/textes/traduction%20loi.doc
  16. http://www.inpdp.nat.tn/version-anglaise/textes/traduction%20decret3004.doc
  17. http://www.inpdp.nat.tn/version-anglaise/accueil.html
  18. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559482
  19. http://www.parliament.go.ug/images/abridged_constitution_2006.pdf
  20. http://www.ucc.co.ug/ucaCap106LawsOfUganda.pdf
  21. http://www.ucc.co.ug/
  22. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559475
  23. http://www.kubatana.net/docs/legisl/constitution_zim_070201.pdf
  24. http://www.kubatana.net/docs/legisl/aippaamd030611.pdf

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