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Preprint. Article forthcoming in Law, Innovation and Technology 15(2), 2023.

With the rapid spread of digital tools that collect large amounts of data from agricultural producers across Africa, there is a growing need to strike a balance between data protection and use. To inform this debate, this article examines the level of and demand for the protection of data collected from African producers. To this end, the article presents a review of national personal data protection laws in Africa and assesses compliance of digital agricultural service providers with these laws. It also offers a first insight into perceptions on personal data protection among African agricultural producers. The analysis shows that data privacy regulations in Africa have been evolving, but several countries have yet to adopt related legislation. Existing laws generally reflect the basic elements of the 2014 African Union Convention on personal data protection, but at times fall short on provisions of particular importance to digital service provision. Compliance with national data privacy laws among digital agricultural service providers is limited, highlighting enforcement challenges. Awareness of data protection issues is low among agricultural producers, as is the ability to control access to their data.