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Data markets in Africa

At a glance

The global digital economy is growing at a blinding pace. In less than a decade, it is believed to already account for 25 per cent of global GDP. The increased relevance of the digital economy also affects the development partnerships. For instance, support for the digital economy opens up new opportunities for sustainable development.

A key driver of the digital economy is the ability to collect and analyse large amounts of data. The generation of value from data is the heart of the digital economy and is done through data markets. Economic prosperity and political self-determination will in the future increasingly depend on the ability to locally create value from collected data. Data control will therefore play a key role in determining who benefits from the creation of value from it and thus from the digital economy.

The market dominance of tech companies from the USA and China means that the African and European digital economies are at risk of losing control over their locally generated data. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is therefore preparing a political initiative to support data markets in Africa and this is expected to be launched during Germany’s EU Council presidency in 2020. The initiative is aimed at helping African nations to create fair and inclusive data markets.

DataCipation platform

The DataCipation platform is a technical data and analysis platform that encourages civic engagement and innovation in data usage for the African continent. Through this platform, data-specific products and services will be distributed in Africa and support will be provided for political debate on data and artificial intelligence. This will primarily be achieved by way of continuous networking and collaboration (“AU Hub”) between the AU and digital operators with their innovations and expertise. It draws upon the comparative strengths of the AU as a “convening power” and provides “leverage” for the continent. This partnership will take the form of both digital and physical conferencing formats as well schemes for upscaling solutions.  The aim is to facilitate the progress of African development in the focus fields of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development by ensuring that data is used in an optimum way while also ensuring the privacy of citizens.