The enactment of the Data Protection Bill, once enforced, could boost Namibia's competitiveness in the investment and business spheres.

This was highlighted at a two-day stakeholder validation workshop.

Competitiveness will aid Namibia in building and maintaining trust and credibility with investors while making it an investment destination.

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board's Margareth Gustavo was alluding to international investors who proposed to set up a call centre and service-providing opportunities in the country.

However, the delay in enacting the Data Protection Bill could discourage investors.

"The first thing they asked us was, does Namibia have a data protection act? and that is why we partnered with MICT, which is very important because they won't invest here without the Data Protection Act. So many of them are just parked, waiting, and running the risk of investors pulling out. We need to ensure that our act is world-class."

Once it comes into law, the Act will ensure that personal data is lawfully collected, stored, and processed.

Following regional consultations in all 14 of the country's regions, the two-day Data Protection Bill Stakeholder Validation Workshop aims to discuss the final inputs to the bill before it is tabled in Parliament.

The workshop will further verify and validate the content of the bill.

With digitalization requiring the processing of data online, the risks of data bridges are high.

The bill also highlights the issue of cross-border transfers of personal data.

Namibia may not transfer personal data to a third party in a foreign country unless there is consent.



Celma Ndhikwa