AfricaCom adds IOT conference stream

AfricaCom will feature a track focusing on the Internet of things in Africa.

Recognising the role the Internet of things (IOT) will play in redefining the world, especially across Africa, AfricaCom 2017 has added a conference track focusing on Africa's IOT capacity and potential.

"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," says Tom Cuthell, portfolio director at KNect365, organiser of AfricaCom.

"Where we are going in terms of our connectedness through IOT, 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."

He says it is for this reason that organisers created two days of content to not only inform delegates "but also stimulate critical thinking as to the possibilities and boundaries of using IOT to govern future prospects".

AfricaCom will take place in Cape Town from 7 to 9 November. Over 13 000 delegates are expected to attend this year's event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The keynote address for the IOT Africa track will be from SqwidNet CEO Reshaad Sha, who will focus on how to gain competitive advantage with IOT technology. Sha's presentation will emphasise the role service providers will play in becoming the facilitators and engine room of the super-connected world.

"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 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, MD of Accenture.

How IOT is enabling Africa, transforming lives and driving operational efficiency to produce new revenue streams will be discussed by a panel of experts including Hull and Nvalaye Kourouma, chief digital officer at Barclays RoA.

South African organisations across a range of industry verticals are moving quickly to innovate in the IOT space, says Melao Mashale, senior manager for 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 at AfricaCom will explore the substantial business opportunities offered by realising the benefits of mobile-enabled IOT solutions, adding socio-economic value to IOT offerings, as well as interoperability, digitalisation and innovation assisting in change and connecting the M2M system through cloud technologies.

Smart city initiatives will be highlighted during a panel discussion, covering how public-private-partnerships can foster effective collaboration for the intelligent city of the future, and how IOT can bridge the gap in the case of public transport.

Raj Wanniappa, CEO and founder of Future Horizon Technologies, will examine how IOT is transforming the future of food and farming in Africa.

Michael Mbuthia, CIO of Kenya Bankers, will explain the intricate workings of IOT in action in the banking environment.

* ITWeb is a media partner for AfricaCom 2017.

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