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There is No App for This! Regulating the Migration of Digital Health Data in Africa



With the dramatic increase in the collection of health data in recent years, health apps have been promoted as offering huge advances in the health of people in the Global South, but they also pose risks to privacy and ultimately to health outcomes. Afya na Haki in collaboration with the University of Warwick is implementing the project “There is No App for This! Regulating the Migration of Digital Health Data in Africa” which seeks to analyse the regulation of health apps in Africa. The project is predominantly anchored under the “Health Technologies and Human Rights” theme which contributes to Ahaki’s 2022 -2032 Strategic plan.

The project will evaluate the data protection regimes and engage with key stakeholders in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda case studies, to establish the extent to which they protect their citizens’ health data, especially in cross-border Health activities. Focusing on law, bioethics, entrepreneurship, epidemiology and policymakers, the project aims to bring together various stakeholders to empirically investigate how health apps are operating in practice, whether new forms of regulation are adequate in responding to potential problems, how different stakeholders perceive the regulatory framework and how we can create better regulatory frameworks.


i. To empirically research and document the practice of health apps in Africa and how African governments are protecting health app users’ data.

ii. To examine how different stakeholders perceive the regulatory frameworks for the migration of health data and enhance their capacities for digital health data protection.

iii. To contribute to the development of a conceptual framework for decolonizing the migration of digital health data from Africa.

iv. To co-create better regulatory frameworks to protect health app users in Africa.


To contribute to the creation of better regulatory frameworks for digital health data in Africa.


Health App users; students, academia, healthcare practitioners, App developers, service providers, policymakers, and regulators.