In a previous life I was a fashion journalist. Many nights I sat watching skinny people in frocks waltz past me in both awe-inspiring and mediocre designs, before I turned my focus to the inner workings of machines. The aptitude to appreciate the ability of the human species to create masterful works of ingenuity can be universal — with much studying involved. So I am uniquely qualified to report on Siemens’s latest project, Fabric. Siemens gathered a bevy of influencers and data nerds on August 23 to witness the physical manifestation of its infrastructural data analytical prowess. Siemens postulates a human migration is under way as millions of Africans are descending on city hubs across the continent, to the point where Africa is the world’s fastest-urbanising continent. By 2050 more than 1.4-billion Africans will have migrated to a city, 212-million of them Nigerians. The prediction is that by 2030 Tshwane and Johannesburg will have inadvertently merged to become SA’s first mega...

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