To pave the way for a final strategy for Uganda’s data protection regulator, the Personal Data Protection Office (PDPO) held a workshop recently to validate the draft strategy developed following the stakeholder consultations carried out in May 2023.
The five-year strategic plan was validated following several revisions by key stakeholders. Representatives from various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), civil society, the private sector, and academia, among others, attended the validation workshop.
Speaking at the validation meeting, Ms. Stella Alibateese, the National Personal Data Protection Director noted that as we embrace technological advancements and witness the rapid transformation of the digital landscape, we must also recognize the responsibility that comes with handling vast amounts of personal data.
She noted that the office which is due to celebrate its second anniversary next month, is cognisant of the urgent need for a strategic plan alluding to Lee Bolman’s words, “A vision without a strategy remains an illusion”.
“While the Act and Regulations provide us with a general expectation or vision, it was important for us to think of the strategies we shall deploy to achieve the desired end,” she remarked — adding that the strategic plan seeks to build an environment where individuals’ data is treated with the utmost care, respect, and confidentiality.
Ms. Alibateese also pointed out that PDPO hopes that when implemented, the strategy will translate into the seamless integration of data protection measures into policies, practices, and systems to fortify Uganda’s data privacy framework.
She commended all stakeholders for their participation, the consultant and the team at the PDPO for their hard work, and the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance for their commitment to upholding privacy and data protection and reinforcing its importance in Uganda’s policy priorities.
Mr. Keneth Bagarukayo, the Commissioner of Data Networks, while representing the Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde to open the workshop, noted that the Ministry is proud of the different stakeholders who are committed to shaping the future of personal data protection and privacy in Uganda.
“This validation workshop presents an opportunity for constructive collaboration and open dialogue. I am confident that the different stakeholders’ unique perspectives, expertise, and experiences will enrich the office’s strategic plan and enhance its relevance and effectiveness,” he remarked.
Bagarukayo urged everyone to participate actively and share insights candidly to make the strategic plan robust and resilient, capable of withstanding the tests of time and uncertainties that the digital age presents.
Mr. Edmond Macheli, the lead consultant in the strategic plan development then made a presentation, giving an overview of f the five-year strategic plan.
He explained that the plan focuses on four thematic areas including; Providing a framework for positioning the PDPO; Guiding PDPO as it implements its mandate; Informing the Office’s performance management mechanisms; and Enabling departments to align their performance with the overall corporate expectations.
Macheli also highlighted the different strategic initiatives PDPO plans to undertake to meet its objectives.
The resounding feedback from the participants of the workshop was for PDPO to scale its awareness activities on the Data Privacy and Protection Act, 2019. The request was to have more information disseminated in different languages, and in a way that ordinary people can understand the information.