The increasing data-driven nature of societies raises concerns about how to prevent data misuse and abuse that may harm individuals and communities, particularly marginalized groups. A feminist critique of the model law on data protection of the Southern African Development Community and the EU’s GDPR, however highlights the dangerous gaps that place women and gender-diverse people at risk.
Major multilateral institutions have long claimed that their market-oriented trade rules reduce poverty and advance development. Instead, they hold back the developing world from a more human-centric, social-justice approach that it needs to reach its potential. South Africa has the potential to set an example of how a global “middle power” can drive change. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided extra impetus – and a test.
Health inequality increased sixfold in South Africa under COVID-19, suggesting that the crisis affected the health of the poor far more than the relatively well-off. Race is not a significant predictor of vaccine hesitancy, but trusting social media as an information source is positively correlated with vaccine hesitancy. South Africa has pushed hard against opposition to the proposal for a waiver of IP for COVID-19 technologies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The momentous African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which went into effect on 1 January 2021, demonstrates the continent’s desire to carve its own economic destiny. But as Africa’s biggest trading partner, the European Union’s actions will have a strong impact on the project’s chances of success. The EU’s historical record suggests it would benefit from more serious listening to what its African partners want on trade.