Skip to main content
  • DS-I Africa - Law


    DS-I Africa - Law

    Contact PI


    Donrich Willem Thaldar
    View email

    Project type


    Grant Number



    The DS-I Africa Law project focuses on the legal dimensions of using data science for health discovery and innovation in Africa. Accordingly, the project complements other ELSI projects that may focus more on the ethical and social implications. Data law is multi-layered, complex and differs between jurisdictions. Without knowledge of the law, scientists chance beginning a health research project only to later discover that the data that they have generated cannot be used as planned. This risks wasting resources and, in some cases, incurring legal liability and even criminal sanctions. The DS-I Africa Law project, therefore, provides scientists with the necessary guidance on how to be legally compliant. The project has a broad jurisdictional scope, involving the law of twelve African nations. Five critical legal themes are investigated: (1) modes of informed consent to the use of data; (2) the nature and content of individual and community rights in genomic data; (3) the use of persons' geospatial data for public health surveillance; (4) the cross-border sharing of data; and (5) the use of data as basis for Artificial Intelligence (AI). An important cross-cutting theme and goal is the decolonization and Africanization of extant law related to the use of data in health research. Thus, the project critically engages with the extant law of the twelve jurisdictions from the perspective of current trends in African legal philosophy. The project team consists of leading law academics highly experienced in the legal regulation of data.

    Other resources / documents