Edward Anderson is a Senior Innovation Policy Specialist at the World Bank’s Global ICT unit. Since 2014 he has been based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he represents the World Bank on Technology and Innovation. As part of this role he leads work supporting the governments’ Open Data Initiative and is responsible for designing government modernization projects in UAV mapping, citizen data, microwork and smart sensors.

According to World Bank estimates, Africa needs to spend $38 billion more each year on transport infrastructure, plus a further $37 billion on operations and maintenance to sustain its current levels of development. A significant financing deficit lies between Africa’s reality and the mobility that it both needs and aspires to. Only 34% of Africa’s population is within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road.

To address this critical need, the World Bank is sponsoring the Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC), an ambitious project that aims to explore drones as a new mobility model for the hard-to-reach, rural communities of the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania. In this episode of the Drone Radio show, Edward talks about the Lake Victoria Challenge and what it means to the future of Africa.

Edward Anderson is a Senior Innovation Policy Specialist at the World Bank’s Global ICT unit. Since 2014 he has been based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he represents the World Bank on Technology and Innovation. As part of this role he leads work supporting the governments’ Open Data Initiative and is responsible for designing government modernization projects in UAV mapping, citizen data, microwork and smart sensors.

According to World Bank estimates, Africa needs to spend $38 billion more each year on transport infrastructure, plus a further $37 billion on operations and maintenance to sustain its current levels of development. A significant financing deficit lies between Africa’s reality and the mobility that it both needs and aspires to. Only 34% of Africa’s population is within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road.

To address this critical need, the World Bank is sponsoring the Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC), an ambitious project that aims to explore drones as a new mobility model for the hard-to-reach, rural communities of the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania. In this episode of the Drone Radio show, Edward talks about the Lake Victoria Challenge and what it means to the future of Africa.

  • The Lake Victoria Challenge asks what could happen if Africa can unlock the lower skies as a resource for mobility. The event explores the emerging transportation technologies that can leapfrog Africa’s infrastructure deficit and address the continent’s infrastructure, public health and mobility challenges with a visionary, safe and scalable solution.
  • Drones offer a starting point for radically rethinking the region’s mobility, lowering the price of transportation per kilo per kilometer to a minimum.
  • Mwanza’s drone corridor is nestled between military airspace and large, hard-to-reach communities, making the Lake Victoria Challenge ideal for the rehearsal of operations and risk assessment.
  • The Lake Victoria Challenge is the first program to integrate drones into the full ecology of the supply chain, and is connected to existing maintenance, operations, users, community and government.
  • The Mwanza Region has 286 health facilities, a university teaching hospital serving 14 million people. This vast medical supply network is ready for what drones can offer.
  • Laboratory samples that are collected by health facilities must be sent and tested at the Bugando Medical Centre. The vision is to connect facilities in the city with the hard-to-reach facilities in the region using drones.
  • Smart cities initiatives in Africa is about doing more with less to improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. It’s also about leveraging citizens as co-creators of public services.
  • A core challenge in Africa is catching up with the gap in funding infrastructure needs to support an ever growing population growth. This is where drones can help.
  • The Lake Victoria Challenge will build on successful drone delivery demonstration projects to hopefully produce a commercially viable drone delivery service.
  • 35% of the population in Africa lives within a 15-minute walk of an all-weather road. In East Asia, its 90%. Drones could help close this gap for critical delivery needs.
  • Access to good genetic material is really critical in sustaining a healthy dairy cow industry. Drones can help fulfill the need for millions of doses of artificial insemination to grow this basic food supply.
  • In many parts of Africa, a motor cycle is the best way to deliver goods to remote areas. The Lake Victoria Challenge hopes to show that drones and do better.
  • A successful drone delivery service means smaller payloads, smaller storage facilities (less capital expense and operation) and fresher products (like medicine and blood supplies).
  • Did you know that in Africa, as much as 25% of the blood testing material for malaria, tubucolosis and AIDs is ruined by the heat and transportation time? The hope is that drones can reduce this percent.
  • The winner of the Lake Victoria Challenge gets a cash prize, but more importantly, they get a service contract to begin delivering payloads within the region.
  • Africa presents global companies with an interesting market frontier. The needs are great and like the cell phone industry, the solutions could leap frog over traditional expensive capital intensive investments resulting in new business models.

 

Mentioned Links

Lake Victoria’s Challenge (www.lakevictoriaschallenge.org)