Since 2016, Rwanda has been exploring the use of drone technology to address many of its developmental challenges.
First the country adopted drone technology to deliver blood to health facilities. It was a novelty and it did succeed.
Private drone firm Zipline was spear-heading that initiative which soon extended to Ghana with other countries expressing interest to follow suit.
When the coronavirus pandemic emerged, it became even essential to adopt the drone technology for social services.
Rwanda is using the drones to monitor and enforce lockdown restrictions as well as deliver vital information about the coronavirus.
Zipline is even adopting the drone technology in Ghana to deliver Covid-19 test samples to health facilities.
The firm now has the green light to operate drone flights to deliver much-needed supplies and personal protective equipment in the US.
Returning to the USA with African success story
After failing to find a commercial foothold in America, Zipline is making a return there based on its success story in Rwanda and parts of Africa.
Zipline is however returning to America to execute this major breakthrough project with the help of Rwandan drone engineers.
Rwandan flight operators are now training their American counterparts to ensure that the project to use drone to deliver health supplies in the US succeeds.
In a statement on Twitter Zipline said “Last week, America took a page from Rwanda’s playbook and launched Zipline’s drone delivery to help with Covid19 pandemic response in the country.
To help make the operation a success, flight operators, like Fabiola Urwibutso, flew to America to help train the local staff.”
Last week, America took a page from Rwanda’s playbook and launched @Zipline’s drone delivery to help with #covid19 pandemic response in the country. To help make the operation a success, flight operators, like Fabiola Urwibutso, flew to America to help train the local staff pic.twitter.com/FZySOP50gO
— ZiplineRwanda (@ZiplineRwanda) June 1, 2020
Melissa Rusanganwa, the Regulation and Aviation System Integration lead at Zipline told The New Times that “Fabiola is one of the people [trainers] who were sent because the American team could not come here. The idea is to facilitate kick operations.”
Rwanda’s ICT and Innovation minister, Paula Ingabire reacted to this news saying “First Rwanda then to Ghana and now USA….. Exciting milestone for Zipline-Rwanda and Zipline.
Excited about the potential of Rwanda’s Proof-of-Concept strategy and scaling beyond Rwanda and Africa.”
Zipline has its global training centre in Rwanda where four certified locals train people from Ghana, the US and other countries in flight and fulfilment operations.