The 10 institutions are from Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The competition which is dubbed ‘African Drone Business Challenge’ will be held for the first time and will emphasize the role of emerging technologies in improving the lives of people in hard-to-reach rural communities across the continent.
The competitors include DRONE ERA (Benin), Africa Bees (DRC), Kenya Flying Labs (Kenya), MicroMek Limited (Malawi), Global Air Drone Academy (Nigeria/USA), Upshore Robotics (Nigeria), Integrated Aerial Systems (South Africa), Jembe Kilimo (Tanzania), JCKEG Solutions (Zambia), and Alley Capital Group (ACG) (Zimbabwe). They were selected among 150 other institutions that had applied in the first phase of the competition where they were required to work on projects demonstrating how drone technology can promote trade.
The projects were selected by a jury based on their feasibility and their estimated impact. Most of the projects selected have the potential to promote the mining, health and agriculture sectors. Towards the final phase, Carnegie Mellon University Africa will provide a 2-day training in a bid to enhance the preparedness of the competing teams during the finale.
The projects will be presented in front of an audience of almost 800 people. The winner will earn a prize of £40,000 (Rwf 50 million) from UKAID/DFID.
The 2020 African Drone Forum was organized by the government of Rwanda in partnership with the World Bank and will bring together more than 1000 guests at the Kigali Convention Center.
Yasser El- Gammal, the Country Manager for the World Bank Group in Rwanda said that the 2020 African Drone Forum will allow to showcase the latest drone technology and challenge drone companies to take part in flying competitions with real-world elements.
“It will be a symposium for promoting the existing infrastructure to deliver significant socio-economic benefits.”
The forum will also convene experts and regulators to discuss about drone technology in Africa.
Rwanda is one of the first countries in the world to use drone technology to improve the lives of citizens through Zipline which delivers medical supplies, including blood, rabies vaccines and antivenom, to thousands of remote health clinics.