Nana Boatemaa Sem-Danso
African Entrepreneurs must get involved in the Global Drone revolution
Photo Credit: Agra.org
It was the computer age of the 90s which ushered in billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In the early 2000s, we entered the internet age which literally allowed people to create multi-billion dollar companies on a Global scale. The ability of the internet to transcend borders has been pivotal to minting mega billionaires such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Serge Brin and Larry page (Google).
We are on the brink of 2020; fully immersed in the robotics and artificial intelligence age. Drones or Unmanned aerial systems have definitely taken centre stage in this robotics revolution. Conservative estimates by reputable firms such as Goldman Sachs and PriceWaterhouse Coopers estimate the global drone market to exceed 100 billion dollars.
Just by the way, a drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle without a human pilot on board suitable for a myriad of commercial applications in Agriculture, Mining, construction and Oil & Gas.
As an African commercial drone pilot who has had the opportunity to be in this industry for the last 5 years, I have found one fact quite disheartening:
African Entrepreneurs have failed to fully take advantage of this drone wave sweeping the globe.
Interestingly most of the innovations and breakthroughs in drones have taken off primarily in Africa. A clear case in point is the revolutionary drone medical delivery service that Zipline International has deployed in Rwanda and Ghana. This is one of countless examples of how drones are benefiting the continent.
Photo Credit: Zipline
One might ask why are drones really taking off in Africa vis-à-vis the developing world?
Two key points.
1. Africa has the greatest need for drone technology:
Drone delivery is pivotal due to our inadequate road infrastructure and broken supply chain systems.
Drone Mapping and surveying is key to serve the multibillion civil engineering/construction industry which will keep developing essential but absent infrastructure across the continent
Precision Agriculture with drones will increase the yields of Farmers across the continent and close food scarcity gaps across the continent.
2. Flexible Drone regulations:
Africa generally has a much more flexible regulatory framework for drones and this has allowed the industry to flourish more. Flexible however does not mean non-existent. Civil aviation Authorities such as those in Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda have been a beacon for drone regulation across the continent. Their approach has made the drone climate blossom without compromising on safety.
I believe more African entrepreneurs need to take advantage of this billion-dollar opportunity not only for its commercial viability but also because it will help build the Africa that we envision. The next generation of African billionaires will definitely consist of Drone-preneurs (Drone entrepreneur) and it will be a travesty for you to be left out.
My team at Axis Drone Surveys are playing our small role in taking advantage of the drone industry. We definitely want to see more entrepreneurs take up the challenge of Africa for Africa.
Want to join our team? Contact us on email@example.com