Data Localization: A “Tax” on the Poor

Data localization refers to the ever-increasing trend by countries to restrict or prohibit the flow of certain types of data across their borders to other jurisdictions, with over 60 countries having some form of localization measures in place. This paper discusses what localization means, how it impacts trade agreements, its public policy pros and cons, the relevance of localization to Africa, its economic impact, three case studies of different types of stakeholders, and alternatives to data localization to minimize its impact on the poor.

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