Under the aegis of the Ministry of ICT, the National Computer Board organized a 3-day workshop on “Developing the ICT ecosystem to harness Internet-of-Things (IoT)”. Surrounded by a delegation from sub-Saharan African countries, the international participants met from 28 to 30 June at the Holiday Inn Mauritius to discuss the enormous potential of IoT for the African continent.
An initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
The International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, organizes an annual human capacity workshop for a delegation from sub-Saharan African countries.
The main objective of these annual workshops is to provide a platform for African countries to share their experiences. It is also an opportunity for these countries to strengthen their knowledge, while being sensitized on the theme of the workshop. For this, many stakeholders are invited: governments, IT decision-makers, telecom regulators, civil industry and associations.
Many international speakers were present for the occasion including :
- Professor Sami Tabbane, ITU Expert
- Ms Imen Ben Chaabane, ITU Expert
- Dr. Gyu Myoung Lee, FG-DPM representative
- Mr. Ted Ogonda of CISCO
- Mr. Alfie Hamid of CISCO
Developing the IoT economy in Mauritius
The IoT, or IoT for Internet of Things, is a rapidly expanding sector. Moreover, Mauritius has just welcomed Mascareignes Connect (local partner of Sigfox), the first network entirely dedicated to IoT. Vik Bhoyroo, Acting Executive Director of the National Computer Board, opened the 3-day workshop with some impressive figures for the IoT sector. By 2020, the market is expected to be worth more than $20 billion according to CISCO. In 2050, again according to CISCO, the latter should pass the 50 billion dollar mark.
ICT Minister Yogida Sawminaden, meanwhile, spoke about the various possible applications of IoT in the region. He spoke about the possibility of integrating IoT in the optimization of parking spaces available within Port-Louis, the capital of the small island. Or a project to measure ambient air pollution on the small island.
Familiarize decision makers with the Internet of Things to encourage investment in the field
The workshop was mainly aimed at managers and engineers interested in issues related to connected objects. Staff of regulatory agencies, decision makers of telecom operators and university officials were also invited to the training to raise awareness on the topic.
As Marcelino Tayob, representative of the ITU regional director office Africa, said, “At the end of the workshop, you will have a clear vision of the ICT ecosystem in order to foster IoT implementation, including the technology, standards, cross-sector policies, regulatory frameworks and possible applications of the field.”
Indeed, thanks to numerous practical exercises, the participants are now familiar with the concrete uses of IoT and associated technologies such as Big Data or Analytics. They will be able to implement IoT strategies using the skills learned in the workshop.
The learnings obtained at the end of the 3-day workshop are:
- Understanding of the technology and standards related to connected objects
- Understanding of the critical parts of the ICT ecosystem needed to integrate IoT
- Knowledge of practical examples of IoT deployment in other sectors
- Acquisition of skills on the development of national business strategies
These types of initiatives are essential for the region to boost the ICT economy. Mauritius has once again been at the forefront of the international scene and has been able to promote its skills in the IoT sector.