Africa Forum Regulatory Roundtable #1 Data Sandboxes: an Introduction

Datasphere Initiative
November 27, 2023

As part of the Africa Forum on Sandboxes for Data, the Datasphere Initiative will be hosting a series of Regulatory Roundtables to leverage the collective expertise of the vast community of African policymakers and regulators toward data governance solutions. 

These mostly online events will offer a series of dialogues and workshops, designed to help the participants:

  • Identify shared present and future regulatory challenges posed by technological advancement, 
  • Brainstorm around the key needs, resources, and modifications to current tools and frameworks necessary to govern datafied societies, and 
  • Consider the role of sandboxes in making the regulatory process more responsive and making policymakers more informed.


The Roundtables will address a number of topics and themes pertinent to African policymakers and regulators including:

  • How to pick the right external partners and participants for a sandbox,
  • Best practices for sandbox design and administration,
  • Using sandboxes to develop national AI strategies,
  • Cross-border sandboxes: fostering bilateral/regional coordination and interoperability,
  • Policy coordination and implementation toward realizing the Malabo Convention,
  • Bringing African priorities in technology regulation into the global consensus.


Sessions will be tailored to address the diverse priorities and interests of its participants such that they are informative, pragmatic, and valuable.

The first Regulatory Roundtable took place on November 27, 2023. In this event, participants learned about the Africa Forum on Sandboxes for Data and participated in an expert-led introduction to regulatory and operational sandboxes.

Speakers provided concrete case studies to demonstrate the application of sandboxes in Africa. In the first part of the session, participants were invited to share examples of regulatory challenges that they are facing when it comes to data. This provided an opportunity for regulators to share their common priorities and issues. These insights will help guide the Africa Forum and Regulatory Roundtables going forward. In the second part of the event, experts shared knowledge and resources on what sandboxes are as well as case studies on how they can be helpful to understand and address data policy challenges. 

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Future events

Dialogues on Regulation and Good Institutional Practices


Fostering Responsible Access and Sharing of Data: A Charters Approach


Regulatory Roundtable #4: Sandboxes and Health Data Challenges


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