The next edition of the Africa Drone Forum (ADF) and Flying Competitions, an event that showcases the use of drones for different purposes will take place in Rwanda in February 2020.
The World Bank and World Economic Forum (WEF) announced that they are partnering with Rwanda’s government to host ADF with an official Twitter page announcing the development.
Speaking on the announcement, Paula Ingabire, the Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation, said the country was excited to host the Africa Drone Forum.
She added that the forum is an opportunity to share their experience as pioneers of Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) unmanned aerial vehicle operations.
It’s an opportunity for Rwanda to share our experience in pioneering the use of Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) UAV operations, and our development of drone regulations. — Paula Ingabire, Rwanda Minister of ICT and Innovation
WEF said Rwanda was selected as the host for the African Drone Forum because of its ground-breaking use of medical delivery drones and current policies that allow for the types of applications that will be displayed at the competition.
Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank’s regional director for Africa, speaking on the flying competition, said it will promote new industries and services as its aim is to “open and test the minds” of engineers, entrepreneurs, regulators and investors.
The flying competitions will promote new industries and services, harness data for delivery and resilience, create activity hubs and opportunities to leapfrog technologies, and develop skill sets for 21st century jobs in the region and beyond. – Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank’s regional director for Africa
The competitions involve a three-stage process: an initial application, a detailed technical review of the drone platform, and the actual flying.
One drone team can apply for several competitions.
The African Drone Forum will also include a regulatory summit that brings together leading experts in drone technology from the private sector and airspace regulators. The summit will showcase discussions on what is possible for the future of drones in Africa.
WEF will, likewise, curate discussions with regulators throughout Africa on how to create policies that enable the safe deployment of drone technologies in their own countries.
Applications for Africa Drone Forum and Flying Competitions close on September 30, 2019.
According to the World Economic Forum, Rwanda 2020 will be supported by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency, the Republic of Korea and a number of development partners.
The Africa Drone Forum represents a stepping stone to innovative air use across the continent. The developments made during the forum according to Puliti could help promote the skies above Africa as a valuable resource.