LAGOS – THE internet of things (IoT) has the potential to solve many issues the continent faces, an industry executive has said as the continent experiences rising smartphone usage and expansion of information technology literacy.
Speaking from Lagos, Brett Parker, Managing Director for SAP Africa, said while the continent might be behind when it comes to IT infrastructure compared to more developed nations, the fact is that more than double the population of sub-Saharan Africa had mobile phone access.
With smartphone usage on the up and IT literacy expanding, bringing IoT level connectivity was a natural progression for the tech-hungry continent.
Research estimates Africa will have tripled its internet penetration to over 50 percent – the equivalent of 600 million regular internet users – by 2025.
It is also predicted that the potential of the IoT in developing countries is huge, with such nations to be accountable for 40 percent of the worldwide value of the IoT market by 2020.
Currently, 15 percent of the global population resides in Africa. More than half of global population growth from now until 2050 is expected to stem from the continent.
Meanwhile, many African countries have already embarked on the IoT journey.
“The potential is limitless,” Parker said.
“As technology advances and encroaches upon most people’s day-to-day lives in some shape or form, people can expect more IoT enabled solutions that address the unique issues facing Africa.” He said while the future looked bright, there were still barriers to overcome.
The cost of implementing the IoT is huge and investment will most likely come from outside the region.
“As well as that, the potential risks of hacking remain a threat as long as there is internet-enabled technology involved. And, having the right skills and training programmes in place will be imperative when making the most of the opportunities that come with new technology.”
IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
– CAJ News / APA