Government has been asked to urgently sign and ratify the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention) as a commitment towards the state’s sub-regional, regional and international human rights obligation of building a credible digital space for electronic transactions, personal data protection and combating cybercrime across the continent.
In June 2014, Uganda, together with 54 other African Union member states adopted the convention in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, addressing the development of information and communication technologies while upholding fundamental rights and freedoms.
However, according to Unwanted Witness, a civil society organization that advocates for the right to
privacy; safe, open and accessible Internet that contribute to the realization of human rights, only a handful of countries have ratified the convention, five years since its adoption.
“Unfortunately Uganda is not among those that have ratified the convention. Government needs to complement its recent achievement of enacting the domestic data protection law by ratifying the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection as a step towards building trust and regional trade,” said Dorothy Mukasa, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer.
She said current technological trends and innovation, free intra-regional digital trade involves collection of personal data, requiring unification of cybersecurity and data protection regulations across the continent.
“We are concerned that further delay by the 54 African Union member states, including Uganda to ratify the convention will not only affect regional trade but heighten privacy violations and cyber-crime.”
The theme for this year’s human rights day celebrated on Monday, December 10 was ‘The year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a human Rights Culture.’
Unwanted Witness reminded government that it has an obligation to protect the human rights of all Ugandan and also create a safe and conducive working environment.