Mombasa, Kenya, August 7 – The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, and Digital Economy, Hon. Eluid Owalo on Monday launched the first regional office of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in Mombasa. This is in part of ODPC’s effort to scale its operations across the country.
Operationalized a month ago alongside two other regional offices in Kisumu and Nakuru, the Mombasa office will serve as a focal point for data protection services in the coastal region, providing guidance and support to organizations and individuals in understanding and complying with data protection Act and its related laws.
Speaking at the launch, CS Owalo noted that the ODPC regional offices will play a pivotal role in ensuring that organizations and businesses adhere to data protection laws while empowering citizens to exercise their privacy rights.
“The establishment of the ODPC regional office and its launch in Mombasa marks a significant step forward, bringing the functions of the Office close to the people in our efforts to decentralize and strengthen data protection institutional framework to handle data security and privacy concerns in a more efficient and effective manner,” the CS said.
CS Owalo noted that expanding ODPC services is a significant step forward in Kenya’s efforts to strengthen data protection mechanisms and build a robust ecosystem that fosters trust, innovation, and responsible data practices.
“I commend the efforts of the ODPC in establishing this regional office. I encourage organisations to interact with the Office to learn more about their compliance obligations and requirements so that together, we can build a robust data protection ecosystem,” he added.
The Principal Secretary, State Department of ICT and Digital Economy- Engineer John Tanui, who was also in attendance exuded confidence that cascading ODPC services to the regional levels will ensure no business will be left behind in the journey of data protection
“This Office will play a key role in enabling local businesses comply with data protection laws which will subsequently enable them access global opportunities with ease,” he remarked.
Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait, MBS on her part noted that the launch of the event is a significant milestone for the Office and a testament to the government’s commitment to regulating the processing of personal data and protecting the privacy rights of citizens.
She expressed her appreciation to the team at the ODPC and all partners who have supported the Office since its operationalization in 2020.
“With our presence in the coastal region, our team will conduct workshops, training programs, and awareness campaigns to empower citizens with knowledge about their privacy rights and responsible data handling,” she said. “Our aim is to create a more inclusive and accessible data protection regime.”
The launch event was also attended by Chairperson of ICT Authority- Hon. Sylvanus Maritim, KONZA Technopolis Ag. CEO John Paul Okwiri, KONZA Technopolis Director Philip Olero, the Chair, ICT Senate Committee – Allan Chesang and his Vice Chair Senator Miraj Abdillahi Abdulrahman.
Also present was the Representative of Regional County Commissioner, Mboga Mathioya, Mombasa County CEC Education & Digital Transformation Mwarage Kame and the Chief Executive Officer of Open Institute, Al Kags.
The Office plans to establish its presence across thirteen additional regions across the country.