Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) – Africa’s largest technology innovation centre, in partnership with GSMA Africa, has launched a pan-African IoT (Internet of Things) community platform to better connect different players in the IoT space to each other. CEO of CcHUB and iHub, ’Bosun Tijani made the announcement alongside GSMA Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, Akinwale Goodluck on 29th September 2020 at the just concluded GSMA Thrive Africa event.
Dubbed ‘Building Wakanda’, the platform will facilitate conversations relevant to the growth of the African IoT ecosystem, build awareness about the work being done by various stakeholders, and foster knowledge sharing and collaboration towards common goals. To complement this thriving community, physical labs will be created across the continent to enable collaborators to build and test their ideas and solutions. The first of these labs will open to community members this year at iHub in Nairobi, Kenya, making it the first openIoT lab in East Africa and the second on the continent.
In his remarks, ’Bosun Tijani shared CcHUB’s belief in the power of an ecosystem approach because of its inherent ability to allow every player to focus on what they do best, thus yielding higher quality solutions. ‘‘We believe that for us to do great and sustainable things, we need to identify and bring together critical stakeholders who can put in resources to inspire new thinking, create awareness and support IoT innovators’’.
Akinwale Goodluck highlighted the need for enterprises to rethink the way they run their operations and interact with the rest of the economy, especially following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all sectors of the economy. ‘‘IoT solutions will be central to efforts to improve productivity and efficiency’’. The GSMA Intelligence Enterprise in Focus 2019 survey reported that the majority of enterprises (52%) around the world view IoT as transformational to their company and the wider industry.
The community is open to all individuals and organisations that have an interest in IoT technology (innovators, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, platform operators, and organisations in the IoT sector). CcHUB and GSMA Africa are encouraging different stakeholders to get involved by bringing their unique perspective, expertise, and resources to this effort. In addition to becoming community members, organisations can partner with CcHUB to strengthen the community and as a result, the work and impact of the different stakeholders. This will be done through different avenues, including but not limited to; innovation challenges and programs, equipment sponsorship, learning series, university-specific outreach and programs.
Plans are already underway to engage the community and will begin with an Innovator Spotlight series in October 2020, aimed at showcasing solutions created by different IoT innovators across the continent and the process leading up to launching their innovation. This will be followed by webinars with various key stakeholders, policy-focused conversations with public officials, capacity building sessions for innovators and more.
Individuals and organisations interested in joining the community and playing an active role in spurring the growth of the IoT sector in Africa are encouraged to join the community and share ideas on activities and resources they would like to see in the community and physical labs respectively. Registration to be part of this community is ongoing via this link: https://cchubnigeria.com/open-iot-community/