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MAY 26, 2020 | GLOBAL

Global Data Alliance Welcomes Shared Commitment to Cross-Border Data Transfers in US-Kenya Negotiating Objectives and in Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint

WASHINGTON – May 26, 2020 – As the Republic of Kenya and the United States prepare for free trade agreement negotiations, the United States last week released its objectives for the US-Kenya negotiations – objectives that echo elements of Kenya’s 2019 Digital Economy Blueprint. The Global Data Alliance welcomes both countries’ shared commitment to realizing the full potential of these negotiations by securing future cross-border digital access to each others’ markets and to best-in-class business services and software tools. This commitment to permitting cross-border data transfers will create economic opportunities for Kenyan and US citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) alike.

As stated in Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint, “[e]very citizen will benefit and find value” in a cross-border digital economy that makes their “goods, services and expertise… accessible across borders, opening up markets and catapulting Kenya to join 1st world markets where citizens benefit from direct access to global markets.” Cross-border digital market access offers Kenya “a leapfrogging opportunity on economic development.”

The recently released US negotiating objectives provide a strong vision to achieve these outcomes. Among other things, the negotiating objectives call for:

  • Non-discriminatory treatment of digital products transmitted electronically across-borders;
  • State-of-the-art rules in all sectors including financial services to avoid restrictions on cross-border data flows and to avoid requirements to use or install local computing facilities; and
  • Measures to promote the interoperability of data protection regimes and mechanisms to facilitate cross-border information transfers.

These commitments are critical to assuring: (1) both countries’ global connectivity and access to international supply chains; (2) the access of SMEs to remote digital tools that enhance trust, cybersecurity, and economic productivity; and (3) the ability of workers to remain productive through teleworking, virtual collaboration, online training, and other services. The Global Data Alliance looks forward to engaging with both governments as the negotiations progress.

About the Global Data Alliance

The Global Data Alliance (globaldataalliance.org) is a cross-industry coalition of companies that are committed to high standards of data responsibility and that rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to innovate and create jobs. The Alliance supports policies that help instill trust in the digital economy while safeguarding the ability to transfer data across borders and refraining from imposing data localization requirements that restrict trade.

Alliance members include BSA members and American Express, Amgen, AT&T, ITB360, Mastercard, Panasonic, United Airlines, Verizon, Visa, and WD-40 Company. These companies are headquartered across the globe and are active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, electronics, energy, financial services, health, supply chain, and telecommunications sectors, among others. BSA | The Software Alliance administers the Global Data Alliance.


BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


Michael O’Brien

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