Map of eastern hemisphere highlighting Africa

According to Cisco execs, Africa has experienced slow growth in the uptake of IoT, but suggests local partnerships to drive adoption.At the Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai this week, a senior Cisco executive said that what IoT lacks in innovation in Africa, it makes up in potential for growth with applications from other parts of the world starting to work on the continent. 

Inbar Lasser-Raab, VP for products & solutions marketing for Cisco, said it has unveiled its smart city evolutions in five global cities, however, Africa does not feature among these, according to IT Web. 

Speaking at the forum, Mr Lasser-Raab said: ”We are seeing less in Africa [in terms of IoT] than in other parts of the world, but there could be huge potential … there is less innovation coming from there, but there are some applications from other parts of the world that are starting to work for Africa.”

Cisco is reportedly showcasing 20 digital city and connected industry solution deployments in the UAE’s most populous city.

Anil Menon, president of Smart+Connected Communities at Cisco, said: “As host to the 2015 IoTWF, Dubai is rapidly transforming into becoming one of the smartest digital cities in the world, connecting the unconnected through the power of intelligent networks.

He adds: “Cities that scale [IoT solutions] first will be the winners in an increasingly competitive environment.”

Apart from Dubai, other cities at the forefront of IoT adoption were highlighted to be Kansas City in the US, Adelaide in Australia, Hamburg in Germany and Bangalore in India.

Africa to find local partners

The multinational technology company noted that what would accelerate IoT adoption in Africa, is local partnerships. Cisco says that it sees South Africa as having strong potential for IoT, as well as Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Botswana.

The California-headquartered firm said: “As we move into this new digital era, organisations across both the private and public sectors are already beginning to rethink how they will approach the shift in infrastructures, processes and outcomes on a grand scale. It is likely to disrupt every area of society and redefine sustainability.”