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Africa faces challenges with IoT says Cisco

Africa faces challenges with IoT say experts.

IT experts have cautioned that lack of skill and fast paced technology growth could hinder the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Africa.

"The African market is unique in terms of the speed it is developing at," said Andy McDonald, VP of Global Service Provider Sales for Middle East, Africa, Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) for Cisco.

"You have the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. Actually in Internet of Things, 52 percent of devices that we would term IoT are actually in Africa today," McDonald added.

"That fast pace of development potentially gives you some challenges because as you skip levels of evolution, you have potential security issues."

McDonald continued to say that with the speed of change there is a gap created in terms of skills to manage the technology evolution.

He lauded the continued efforts to connect the continent to the internet and to mobile telephony, but called upon players to ensure that the change is managed well in order to avoid leaving any loopholes behind.

According to Gartner, currently there are 4.9 billion 'things' connected to the internet this year and by 2020, 25 billion things would have been connected.

"Scale and speed in great, but without strategy is a potential disaster," he said referring to growing cyber security around the globe.

"There is also a matter of creating the skill sets to take advantage of the Internet of Everything," said Paolo Campoli, Senior Director Global SP Sales, CTO at Cisco.

He suggested that now is the time to support developers who will innovate across the IoT, rather that having developers who produce products for mobile or web.

"You will see in the next few years, a new generation of developers in Africa that programme directly on the platform of the Internet of Things," Campoli added.

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