#AfricaCom2017: New #IoT conference stream added to AfricaCom agenda

Recognising the role the Internet of Things (IoT) will play in redefining our world, especially across Africa, AfricaCom 2017 has added a specific conference track focusing on Africa’s IoT capacity and potential.

According to Tom Cuthell, portfolio director at KNect365, organiser of AfricaCom  have created two days of thoroughly thought-provoking content led by world-class speakers, with the aim of informing delegates, but also stimulating critical thinking as to the possibilities and boundaries of using IoT to govern future prospects.

“The convergence of inter-related technologies spanning every aspect of the planet’s daily connected life, is at one and the same time an exceptional advancement and a terrifying prospect.  Where we are going in terms of our connectedness through the Internet of Things, and the opportunities this provides is more than an agenda item at AfricaCom, it is a crucial track for determining the next steps in our evolution.

Focusing on how to gain competitive advantage with IoT technology, Reshaad Sha, Chief Executive Officer of, SqwidNet, will also launch the IoT discussion at AfricaCom on Tuesday, 7 November 2017.  Sha’s presentation will emphasise the role service providers will play in becoming the facilitators and engine room of the super-connected world. Other topics he will touch on include low power networks boosting IoT deployment plans, and the challenge of IoT security and harnessing IoT data analytics for informed decision-making.

The IoT could also solve many of the issues Africa is facing – especially those caused by social and economic challenges. “We are operating and living in a new world. A world where digital is creating changes at unprecedented levels of speed and scale. There is no doubt that all businesses and governments will be impacted in some form, and for most, in a very significant way. This creates a reality of opportunity and risk,” says Wayne Hull, Managing Director of Accenture.

Read>> What impact has #IoT made in Africa?

How IoT is enabling Africa, transforming lives and driving operational efficiency to produce new revenue streams, will be discussed by Hull and a panel of experts on Tuesday, 7 November 2017 Along with financial services innovation fundi Nvalaye Kourouma, Chief Digital Officer, RoA at Barclays, as well as four other IoT experts, the panel will debate digital transformation across all verticals and public services, as well as information as the new currency in an era of data.

South African organisations across a broad range of industry verticals are moving quickly to innovate in the IoT space, says Melao Mashale, Senior Manager: IoT solutions at MTN Business. “IoT is an exciting field, and there is no industry vertical where it can’t add value,” he adds.

Mashale’s presentation will explore the very substantial business opportunities offered by realising the benefits of mobile-enabled IoT solutions, adding socio-economic value to the IoT offerings, as well as interoperability, digitalisation and innovation assisting in change and connecting the M to M system through cloud technologies.

More immediately, large metros in Africa are confronting citizens demands for electricity, dealing with water shortages and wastage, and managing other resources. Each of these challenges are only expected to grow in the years ahead due to increasing urbanisation, and in Africa, this has become a significant driver behind conversations focusing on the IoT’s impact on Smart Cities.

Smart city initiatives will be highlighted with a panel discussion at AfricaCom on Wednesday, 8 November 2017 where, amongst others, topics debated will focus on the public-private-partnerships fostering effective collaboration for the intelligent city. Also, up for discussion, will be new business and operating models – what they look like and how they will contribute to the success of partnerships and the socio-economic impact of ‘infostructure’; dedicated networks and lower price points to enable cities to leapfrog their mobility, and using IoT to bridge the gap in the case of public transport in South Africa.

And in agriculture across Africa, farmers and agricultural companies are turning to the IoT for analytics and greater production capabilities. The world will need to produce 70% more food in 2050 than it did in 2006 to feed the growing population of the globe, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Raj Wanniappa, CEO and founder of Future Horizon Technologies will talk about how the IoT is transforming the future of food and farming in Africa. His presentation on Tuesday, 7 November 2017.

Read>> Don’t be a sitting duck against  Internet of Things threats

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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