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AfricaCom 2017 announces crucial IoT track

AfricaCom 2017 announces crucial IoT track

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.

This is according to Tom Cuthell, portfolio director at KNect365 and organiser of AfricaCom, which has announced in a statement that it has added a new IoT focused track in its 2017 event to be held in Cape Town from 7-9 November.

"Where we are going in terms of our connectedness through the Internet of Things, and the opportunity this provides is more than an agenda item at AfricaCom, it is a crucial track for determining the next steps in our evolution," adds Cuthell.

AfricaCom wants to emphasise the role that Internet of Things (IoT) will play going forward, especially across Africa (with anything from 12-billion 30-billion connected devices expected by 2020).

"We 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," says Cuthell.

Reshaad Sha, CEO of, SqwidNet, will launch the IoT discussion at AfricaCom with a keynote address focusing 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. 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 can also solve many of the issues Africa is facing, especially those caused by social and economic challenges," says AfricaCom.

According to Liquid Telecom's African IoT Report 2017, "IoT can radically improve agricultural outputs, increase efficiencies at over-worked hospitals, and reduce the number of people dying on African roads in traffic accidents, with a big part contributing to sustainability."

Alexandra Rehak, practice head of IoT at Ovum, commenting on the report said, "A big part of IoT's role in Africa will be to contribute to sustainability - energy and resource development and usage, agriculture, and conservation efforts can all really benefit from the efficiency, precision, and actionable data that the IoT can deliver."

Wayne Hull, Managing Director of Accenture says, "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."

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.

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