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Middle East – Africa


The pandemic drove home the high value of personal data to the global economy, while also highlighting its vulnerability to abuse and attack. In response, governments around the world, including those in Africa, have been reviewing their data privacy and protection laws and regulations. The protection of data in Africa is broadly covered by the Convention of the African Union on Cybersecurity and Personal Data (2014) which has been ratified by only a small number of the 55 African Union members.
To highlight data security and privacy laws and developments that are already in place, or in progress, in Africa, our new Africa Data Security and Privacy Guide outlines information on country-specific data privacy and security laws in 11 countries in Africa – Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

On November 26, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published a final rule amending the Syrian Sanctions Regulations (“Final Rule”). The Final Rule expands the existing general license at § 542.516 to authorize nongovernmental organizations to engage in certain assistance-related investment activities in support of not-for-profit activities in Syria.

On November 18, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (“EO”) 14054 which terminates US sanctions related to Burundi by revoking EO 13712 of November 22, 2015. EO 13712 imposed sanctions related to Burundi due to “the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, the incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression” occurring in Burundi at the time and designated several parties as Specially Designated Nationals.

Our Banking & Finance, Competition & Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trade partners in Johannesburg outline ten reasons to turn your attention to African trade and investment opportunities in the coming year. Some of these reasons include the rise in commodity prices, shifting patterns and alternative financing, digitization and competition law and enforcement.

The growth in demand for online retail services has led to extensive disruption in the Consumer Goods and Retail (CG&R) sector in Africa. Africa-based CG&R businesses have been adapting their digital operating models to keep up with demand, and multinational e-commerce organisations operating in the region are recording rapid growth. However, this digital expansion in the CG&R sector has numerous tax implications, both locally and regionally.