Opinion: How Poor Global Intenet Infrastructure Could Catapult African IoT Innovation

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Written by Staff

From HowWeMadeItInAfrica. Story by Kushal Puri, IoT expert for technology group KPMG.

On the one hand, Africa as a whole has very poor Internet penetration — 26.5 percent compared to a global average of 42.3 percent in 2014, according to Internet World Stats.

On the other hand most of the world’s Internet networks are not geared to handle machine-to-machine (M2M) data.

In this lack of infrastructure lies an immense opportunity for a continent to catapult ahead of the game. While governments in Europe and North America try to repurpose existing networks and install incremental add-ons to infrastructure; Africa is presented with a clean slate to put the right infrastructure in place and become the hotbed for IoT (internet of things) related innovation, implementation and investment. The question on everyone’s mind is, will Africa, and indeed Africans, seize the opportunity to power ahead of the rest – or are the obstacles far too difficult to surmount?

There are a number of initiatives in place to get Africa connected and innovation flowing.

1) Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Internet.org in 2014, a non-profit aiming to provide basic Internet to everybody. So far, the organisation has been primarily focused on Africa; with four of eight country-wide launches in the continent. Part of the Internet.org vision is also to be able to connect basic IoT devices, although not any time soon. The initiative is a visible step in the right direction to get Africa connected.

Here are more initiatives.

Read more at HowWeMadeItInAfrica.