Kenya Joins World In Commemorating International Data Privacy Day

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The Kenyan government, on September January 28, 2023, joined the world to commemorate International Data Privacy Day.

It emphasized the importance of commemorating International Data Privacy Day as an opportunity to take stock of the gaps and gains in safeguarding the people's right to privacy and data protection.

The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo. said the day was first celebrated in Kenya in 2021 and has since become an annual event of the ICT calendar.

"I am delighted to join you on this 42nd Anniversary of International Privacy Day. This is a very important day in the digital and technology space in the entire world. We in Kenya are pleased to join the rest of the world in marking this day," the CS said.

CS Owalo said this year's celebration is commemorated under the theme of "Promoting Data Protection in a Digitally Transformed Economy." Further noting, "This theme emphasizes the need for us to create an environment that allows safeguarding of data for every citizen, and for every enterprise and organization that has digital access, and the capability to participate and thrive in the digital economy."

CS Owalo said the International Data Privacy Day enables citizens to reflect on how better the government could continue providing seamless e-government services while also complying with the principles of personal data protection.

CS Owalo noted that the national economic blueprint, Kenya's Vision 2030, has been accelerated through the six core pillars of the government PLAN, namely Agriculture; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME); Housing and Settlement; Healthcare; the Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy; and the Environment and Climate Change.

"We must seize the significant socio-economic opportunities that digital technologies bring us. Today, we are witnessing a digital revolution where robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology and quantum computing, all converge to enable us participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.," he said.

"Our Commitment as Government is to digitalize all government services and thus enhance service delivery to our people, by eliminating the traditional red-tape of government bureaucracy. Yet, as we do this, we must also protect the people's right to privacy, as a fundamental human right," the CS said.

CS Owalo stated that emerging technologies go hand-in-hand with the need for capacity building and upscaling of the skills' set for youth so that they can actively contribute towards the economy's growth.

"The youth are our future. Upskilling them for their participation in the economy contributes to helping Kenya to realize her goals to be a middle-income economy."

He stated that Data Protection Day aims to raise awareness in government, the Businesses Community, and among Development Partners, Academia and the general public about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information.

This is especially so during this age when digital technology has spread to all corners of the globe and in all spheres of the economy.

"Today's event also reminds us of possible opportunities for collaboration among government agencies, financial institutions, telecommunication companies, academia, non-profit organizations, privacy professionals and educators on matters of enhancing personal data protection," the CS said.

CS spoke during an event held at KICC, Nairobi.

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