Kathy Gibson is at the NEC Xon Summit in Sun City – There is strong correlation between social stability and economic growth. This is the word from Hironobu Kurosaki, president and CEO of NEC Europe, who points out that studies show that GDP grows when countries’ security improves.

“No security, no economic growth,” says Kurosaki. “And we believe NEC can help achieve this with biometric solutions.”

Africa is a significant market for NEC – in fact, the company has a footprint in 53 countries on the continent spanning the last 54 years.

This business accounts for $4-billion in accumulated sales in Africa.

“NEC has contributed a lot to telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure on the continent,” says Kurosaki. The focus going forward is largely on energy and biometric solutions.

“Our aim is to make cities safer and smarter with ICT,” Kurosaki adds.

The reason Africa is important lies in the growth, population and GDP exhibited by countries across the continent.

“The population and demand for water, gas and electricity will increase almost two-times by 2050,” Kurosaki points out. “So we need to look at ICT to help solve the problems we face.”

The company’s value proposition lies in visualisation of data, analytics of the data to gain insights, and then prescriptions to turn insights into real-world actions that deliver new social value. Kurosaki explains.

When it comes to digital transformation, NEC aims to connect, create and change.

An example of connect, he says, is the Department of Home Affair’s fingerprint identification systems.

A wealth of services are enabled by the fingerprint system – and it all works because they are connected.

An example of create is NEC’s safe city solutions that are used in Kyoto.

“NEC has collaborated with the authorities to produce crime prediction systems that analyse past crime data. Then, using big data and Internet of Things, the system predicts where crimes are likely to occur.

“So they can police the most effective routes to enable crime prevention.”

In terms of change, Kurosaki cites a voucher-based micro-finance system that is being used in Mozambique.

“E-voucher and e-payment is an electronic money system that solves problems for rural people.”

This brought to light additional problems with cash savings, and which has led to the establishment of banking facilities for farmers in Mozambique, he adds.

NEC leverages XON’s system integration capabilities for deployment in Africa.