Nigeria Customs Service Leads International Discussion on Critical Data Governance Framework at UNCTAD E-Week 2023

Nigeria Customs Service Leads International Discussion on Critical Data Governance Framework at UNCTAD E-Week 2023

Kathy Kyari 

Strong data governance is absolutely necessary in developing nations, as demonstrated by the UNCTAD E-Week 2023 conference, which took place from December 4–8 at the Centre International de ConfĂ©rences de Genève (CICG).

The Nigeria Customs Service, represented by CSC DO Anikoh and CSC OF Obieze, organized a crucial meeting with the goal of promoting discussion on adopting and putting into effect a data governance framework that is in line with global best practices.

Experts from the public and private sectors convened for the discussion to talk about the critical elements of data governance, including accuracy, security, and standards. 

Steven Pope of DHL stressed the need for strict regulations on data sharing in order to guard against abuse. Javier Garcia of the Universal Postal Union emphasized the significance of national data governance systems conforming to international standards at the same moment.

Fair compensation for data analysts, the role of data analysts in specialized agencies, addressing data quality and integrity, difficulties faced by startups in gaining access to actual data, and the advantages and disadvantages of using private company data for policy-making were just a few of the important topics covered in the in-depth discussion. One important subject that developed was international regulation to avoid data misuse.

The discussion's general consensus emphasized how important data governance is to digital transformation. It was recommended that developing nations handle data at the macro, regional, and global levels. In order to resolve privacy and security issues and promote mutual benefit and sustainable growth, the session focused on the critical role that data sharing and usability between the private sector and regulatory authorities play.

In the private sector, putting data governance policies into practice was essential for building standards, earning confidence, and striking a balance between privacy and creativity. The government's support and public education on data governance policies were demanded throughout the session.

Data governance was shown to be crucial for e-commerce supply chain companies in order to lower risks and guarantee data accuracy. It entails using standards and technology, safeguarding accessed data, and comprehending data structures. It was noted that non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and legal frameworks such as the USMCA in Latin America are essential for preventing unauthorized disclosure.

The conversation focused on the fact that data governance improves efficiency by streamlining administration and data storage is a global concern for agencies. Government and regulatory bodies were asked to adjust to the evolving landscape of data governance, with a focus on e-commerce and mobile money data systems.

It was determined that a strong data governance framework that balanced harmonization, simplification, and standardization was essential. It was explored how to facilitate cross-border data transfers, and while concerns about non-uniform standards were noted, higher-level standards like the GDPR were considered as advantageous.

In order to promote responsible data sharing with private stakeholders, the session ended with a call for regulatory agencies in developing nations to either implement data governance frameworks or look for support from international organizations such as the WTO and WCO. 

The main takeaway was unmistakable: strong data governance is essential for negotiating the challenges of the digital age, spurring economic expansion, and guaranteeing an equitable, safe, and mutually beneficial global data environment.

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