Saldanha Bay wireless last mile access
One of the key challenges hampering broadband services in South Africa (and Africa) is the lack of an effective last mile connectivity solution (i.e. how to connect the h...

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Transforming education in the Western Cape
African Ideas has been very active in creating and driving the e-education strategy and approach taken by the Western Cape Government (WCG).
African Ideas drove the...

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Developing the Western Cape broadband strategy
Broadband is seen as a strategic enabler for all sectors of the economy. It enables the transmission of data across the globe, improved communication and the ability to t...

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Lejwe Technology innovation ecosystem
This project was conducted on behalf of the Lejweleputswa Development Agency (LDA) in the Lejweleputswa District of the Free State province of South Africa. The contract ...

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Digital Readiness and Usage
There is growing evidence that the diffusion of ICT is an accelerator of economic growth in a country (studies by the OECD, World Bank, Economic Commission for Africa, et...

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Unleashing the Potential of Open Data
Open Data is a new buzz word; the world is coming up with policies, frameworks, and strategies around successful implementation of Open Data. There have been many reasons...

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Smart Cities & Intelligent Infrastructure
In the future everything in a city, from the electricity grid, to the sewer pipes to roads, buildings and cars will be connected to the network. Buildings will turn off t...

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Empowered Citizens with powerful data platforms
Another chapter in the smart city story is being written by citizens, who are using apps, DIY sensors, smartphones and the web to solve the city problems that matter to t...

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Digital Technology Access & Usage in South Africa
The current position of inequity and exclusion in South Africa is magnified by the impact of digital exclusion which is now being recognised across the developed world as...

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Growing digital content creation in Africa
There are indications that the digital content industry offers significant economic and cultural benefits to the African economy. While Africa is currently a small player...

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Saldanha Bay wireless last mile access
Transforming education in the Western Cape
Developing the Western Cape broadband strategy
Lejwe Technology innovation ecosystem
Digital Readiness and Usage
Unleashing the Potential of Open Data
Smart Cities & Intelligent Infrastructure
Empowered Citizens with powerful data platforms
Digital Technology Access & Usage in South Africa...
Growing digital content creation in Africa

Smart Cities and Connected Homes Featured

A core focus of African Ideas work is the evolution towards smart cities and intelligent infrastructure. We also focus on the data and information that is being generated by citizens, and how citizens are are building their own powerful platforms - generating some data, taking other data from multiple places, mashing this together, analysing this and drawing conclusions - without government or big business. And now this connected technology is entering the home.

  We have heard the stories of how we can adjust the heating and switch on the lights from our mobile phones. We all want the coffee pot that can sense when we get out of bed, fill itself with water and  switch on so that we will have hot coffee ready after we shave and shower. However there are a lot more practical benefits to connected homes than that. Simple things like monitoring our energy and water usage, telling us which appliance is using how much power and when, informing us of dripping taps, telling us how much power was generated from the solar panels on the roof and how much was bought from the grid, etc. are all of the basic things that a smart home system can do. And this is aimed at making us optimally manage scarce resources.

The connected home is controlled by the user via a control hub that connects to and communicates with digital devices throughout the household. These devices can range from heating systems to wall sconces to automated door locks to appliances to thermostats to televisions, and more. The connected home is a package of services and solutions that collectively add value for consumers.

The battle for being the heart of the connected home is up in the air. Vendors like Sony (PS3/ 4) and Microsoft (Xbox) are vying for it. In South Africa, vendors like Multichoice and Altech are making a play for it. Internationally companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc. all want it to be them. Telcos are also making a serious bid for this space. And Cities and Utilities are well placed to take the lead in this space – as the basic infrastructure is already there. It just needs to be made smart.

And this is the future direction of utilities or smart cities. However to achieve this, a clear integrated strategy is needed. Something like this does not happen by chance. It has to be driven by a vision for the future. African Ideas helps organisations define this vision and put in place a roadmap to achieve this vision.

We are a strategy and innovation company focused on Africa. Our services focus on strategic planning, research and disruptive innovation especially related to the impact of digitisation across society.