IGF 2022 Open Forum #38 Data as new gold: how to avoid ‘gold rush’ and create value for all

Friday, 2nd December, 2022 (12:00 UTC) - Friday, 2nd December, 2022 (13:00 UTC)

Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min


Focus and approach of the session: Data as new gold: how to avoid ‘gold rush’ and create value for all

The focus of the session is on the use of data to benefit the society and the economy. What and how shall we do to create value for all. How to avoid mistakes (goldrush) thanks to the human-centric approach to data economy, mitigate related risks and close digital gaps. Digital policy has now become one of the key areas shaping global future. We all agree that digitalisation is necessary to transform the economy and achieve climate neutrality. Digital Single Market initiatives date back to 2014 in the EU. Since then, it has been a history of successes and mistakes which have allowed us to learn important lessons and a track record. Successful work on abolishment of roaming charges when travelling within the EU, better access to online subscriptions, consumer protection rules, the end of unjustified geo-blocking, the action plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation are only few examples of what we have accomplished.

On the African side, most of the efforts on harmonising data and privacy protection standards have been championed by Regional Economic Communities ('RECs'). More recent harmonisation efforts draw inspiration from the ‘Agenda 2063’ - the master plan for 'an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.' In 2014, the African Union (AU) adopted the AU Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, an instrument that represented a first concrete attempt at data privacy standards harmonisation on the continent. Unfortunately, eight years after its adoption, not a sufficient number of countries have ratified the AU Convention and the instrument is yet to come into force -  it requires ratification by at least 15 member states. Additionally, an AU Commission Continental Data Framework is currently in the final stages of development.


Panellist will be asked also to reflect on global and regional efforts to develop data economies and partnerships to promote a human centric digital agenda around the globe.  Through the Digital Compass, the EU has set its own digital priorities by 2030, but the EU is also developing digital partnerships to promote a human centric digital agenda around the globe. The Digital Global Gateway is a key instrument in this regard. It contributes to promote efficient data governance on the global scene. One of the main focuses of EU action is Africa.

The session will be organised to ensure a good gender, geographic and multistakeholder balance of panellists. To make the session more dynamic, we aim at bringing to the panel speakers from academia, public and private sector and from civil society. We aim at discussing the challenges and lessons learned in different geographic regions, highlight EU best practises and illustrate partnership initiatives with a particular focus on the EU-AU data flagship and the Digital Global Gateway. We will also ask speakers to reflect on data policy in developing countries and countries providing foreign aid in the digital sector.

All panellists will start with their general views on the topic (up to 5 minutes) and then proceed with two rounds of Q/A posed by the moderators (see key questions for panellists). 20 minutes will be left for the questions from the audience. Duration of the session – is 60 minutes.  We will have both on-site and online moderators and panellist (hybrid option).


Key questions for panellists:

  • How to build a data governance model which benefit both the economy and the society?
  • Human-centric approach – the role of the governments?
  • Digital transition and data economy – how ensure no one is left behind?
  • How to strike the right balance between making available more data for reuse and guaranteeing  privacy and data protection?
  • Regulation versus enforcement: margins for improvement. The perspective of the academia, CSO, private and public sectors.
  • Key challenges on regional level – how to act efficiently to closing digital gaps.
  • Role of data to bridge digital divide, ensure strong data protection and inclusive economic growth - case study of EU-AU Data Flagship and the Digital Global Gateway.

Issues, challenges and opportunities are related to the selected theme.

Issues – digital divide is growing around the globe. Can efficient and fair data policies help bridging this divide? What worked so far, what hasn’t? Which is the data governance model that helps to boost the economy?

Challenges and opportunities – how to enable digital innovation ecosystem? What would be the role of global partnerships? Reflections on Digital Global Gateway, Team Europe approach and initiatives, flagships  (such as EU-AU data flagship (initiated by EU Member States (France, Belgium, and Germany) and African Union Commission, European Commission, Smart Africa, Germany initiatives to support the development of an EU/AU joint and non-binding data framework based on shared values and principles and with the objectives of protecting citizens’ rights, assuring data sovereignty and supporting the creation of the African Single Digital Market and IDEA (planned future action by the European Commission and Germany and implemented by Smart Africa, Betterplace.Lab, Enabel, Expertise France and GIZ to enable civil society organisations and academia to take up a role in promoting digital rights by strengthening their capacities and facilitating their active participation to multi-stakeholder dialogues).


European Commission DG INTPA
European Commision, DG INTPA Grazvydas JAKUBAUSKAS, DG INTPA, F5 and Francesko VINCI, DG INPA, A1.




PhD Marek HAVRDA, Deputy Minister for European Affairs, CZ presidency.

Mrs. Bridget Andere, Access Now, Africa Policy Analyst.

Mr.  Johannes WANDER Policy advisor on digital development & innovation at GIZ to AUC.

Mrs. Chloe TEEVAN, Head of Digital Economy and Governance at ECDPM.

Mr. Alberto Felice, Director for Infrastructure, Privacy and Security, DIGITAL EUROPE (Online). 

Mrs. Maria-Rosaria CODUTI, Policy Officer for  Data Policy and Innovation, EC DG CNECT (Online).

Onsite Moderator

Grazvydas Jakubauskas, European Commission, DG INTPA, F5, Policy Officer, Data Governance

Online Moderator

Vinci Francesco, DG INTPA, A1, Policy Officer Strategic Partnerships with Africa and ACP

Onsite Moderator


Online Moderator

Francesko VINCI


Grazvydas JAKUBAUSKAS and Francesco VINCI


3. Good Health and Well-Being

Targets: 3. Good Health and Well-Being Data policy is a very important element for better access to health services (digital health). This will be reflected in the discussion. 4. Quality Education Data policy is a very important element for better access to health services (digital education, digital skills). This will be reflected in the discussion. 5. Gender equality Data policy helps to reduce digital gender divide. This will be reflected in the discussion. 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth We believe that the promotion fostering an effective Data economy in Africa and the EU to be essential to the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure We believe that the uptake of an effective Data economy in Africa and the EU goes hand in hand with investments in innovation and sustainable infrastructures. 10. Reduced Inequalities Data policy helps to reduce inequalities by ensuring access to services, education, health, job, etc. 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions Data policy and privacy strengthen the institutions via vast array of new possibilities for cooperation, digital governmental services provision (e.Gov). 17. Partnerships for the Goals We believe that the work being conducted in the context of the Global gateway will help revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

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