What impact has IoT made in Africa?

Getting connected via the web has long been an issue in Africa. This is especially true when it comes to the more remote, undeveloped areas; of which there is many. This issue can be largely solved by the implementation of IoT.

Previously, in order to establish an internet connection, we would rely on copper or fibre wiring to deliver the connection. This meant that providing any sort of connection in remote areas across Africa was neither easy nor particularly cost effective.

However, with the introduction and implementation of IoT through M2M SIM cards, it’s now possible to create a connection pretty much anywhere in the world. M2M SIMs give devices the connectivity that previously would have required a potentially expensive, hardwired connection.

Things such as solar power units, tracking devices and water purifiers in Africa can now report data that allows for much more effective and efficient running. This means that costs can be saved when it comes to maintenance, allowing for more and more helpful technology to be rolled out across Africa.

Social benefits

It may sound quite obvious, but having connectivity will no doubt come with many social benefits. Although IoT technology is predominantly viewed as something that can improve accuracy and improve cost-effectiveness, it’s also a great means of time-saving. This extra time created by IoT allows people to spend their time more productively, be it working or spending time with their loved ones.

Economic benefits

As previously mentioned IoT is a great tool when it comes to improving accuracy and cutting costs. These two things, coupled with the fact that information can be shared more readily means that IoT can provide extreme economic benefits.

Environmental benefits

One of the major benefits of Africa adopting IoT is the opportunity for precision agriculture.  Precision agriculture allows us to limit the use of pesticides, fertilizer and water to the very minimum. On top of this it gives us a better understanding of how to weather forecast; which in Africa can be extremely useful due to the often extreme weather conditions.

The future of IoT in Africa

AT this moment in time there are already hundreds of mobile networks that can provide us with connectivity across the continent. Moving forward this number is only set to grow, with more and more previously unconnected areas becoming connected.

This isn’t only good news for the people living in these areas, but for Africa as a whole. At some point, hopefully in the near future, the whole of Africa will become connected; improving trading capabilities, information sharing and potentially giving a huge boost to many countries economic status.

Africa is currently in a position where if IoT is rolled out and used in the right way, connectivity could supersede that of Europe and Northern America. The faster that Africa adopts IoT and makes it a staple part of its operations, then the quicker communities in the rural areas will be able to reap the economic, social and environmental benefits.

This article was written by Aaron Watts. Aaron is a Marketing Professional currently working in the communications industry for B2B telecoms experts DuoCall.

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