Drones in Africa
Drones in Africa How they could become lifesaver?
It glows like a rainbow at night and is the jewel in the crown of modern Kigali, the fast-changing capital of a country which Rwanda’s politicians time and again tell us is open for business.
Technology is front and centre of the government’s plan to become a higher-middle-income country by 2050. It’s an ambitious goal, given over 35% of the population lives in poverty, according to government statistics. To learn more about Drones and Applications visit my previous blog.
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But it’s one which President Paul Kagame is clearly keen to push. As he stands in front of the audience, he says that drones will become not just part of the Rwandan skies – he wants them manufactured and piloted by Rwandans.
Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills and slow, tediously winding roads, was the first in the world to embrace a commercial delivery service by the drone when Silicon Valley firm Zipline began flying blood in 2016.
In a shed next to the hut where the little drones sit ready for their turn, we see mock-ups of blood transfusion bags and medical samples.
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These will be picked up by the drones, dropped at a nearby island, then collected again within a certain time limit. You can learn in deep about working of drones, and its working without GPS through AI and Big Data.
One girl Temie explains how her drivers have to learn the location of 400 hospitals by heart as the maps aren’t accurate enough in a frantically urbanising city like Lagos, which is also clogged by traffic. Drones in Africa are just used to reach patients faster.
But, in Nigeria, they’re not yet used for drops. drones for mapping and land surveying for clients such as miners are the most compelling use case. “Rwanda is one of the most densely populated rural parts of the world. In the long run, we’re looking at drones providing economic opportunity in agriculture, for small-scale manufacturers, and to deliver time-sensitive goods such as cash and documents.”
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