5 April 2020

African Drone Forum 2020: A huge success

The African Drone Forum (ADF) 2020 strives to create an extensive stakeholder platform to progress the equitable and safe development of drone economies in Africa.

People stood in a line around a drone

The ADF 2020 was successfully held in Rwanda, Africa, on February 5-7.

The ADF was organised in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, World Bank Group and partners including UK AID and the World Economic Forum. The three day event was officially opened by the President of Rwanda his Excellency Paul Kagame.


The African Drone Forum aims to transform the lower skies of Africa into a resource for sustainable mobility, promising efficiency, innovation and opening new opportunities for the population.

Makhtar Diop

World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure


The event explored what a future unbound by surface infrastructure could look like, how drone technology can promote development and increase access to essential services and opportunities for the African continent.

Bringing together engineers, regulators, government users, entrepreneurs, academics, development partners, and grassroots drone organizations, the three-day forum included:

Day one

The future of drones in Africa, Africa’s Drone Economy, the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa and Droneports and Infrastructure Services in Africa. The Ignite Talks presented the Flying Competitions teams and the technology on display during the Lake Kivu Challenge.

Day two

A discussion on UAS technology use in specific sectors, through the keynote Future of Food Deliveries in Africa and plenary session Drones for Agriculture – a game changer for Africa.

The speakers addressed how drones can be useful in surveying and mapping, as well as disaster risk management with breakout session on: Technology, Regulation, Connected Skies and Logistics.

The Global Air Drone Academy, from Nigeria, was selected as the winner of the African Drone Business Challenge finalists with MicroMek from Malawi and JembeKilimo from Tanzania runners up.

Day three

A discussion on the Plenary Heavy Lift followed by discussions around airspace management, drone regulations in Africa, drone integration into supply chains, and drones for malaria eradication followed by the Africa Next announcement.

One of the highlights of the forum was the Lake Kivu Challenge, consisting of three flying competitions with ten teams participating across seven countries. The competition showcased the drone technology including vertical take-off and landing aircraft, unmanned traffic management hardware/software, and beyond visual line of site drone delivery operations.

Rwanda is committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, as a key pillar for transforming our country and our continent, both socially and economically.

His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda commented, “Why limit ourselves to just using drones? We can also design and manufacture drones in Africa, as demonstrated by examples at this forum. This allows the technology to be tailored to our specific needs, and to help create new industries that generate employment and prosperity”.


Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure said:

“Drones can be a key enabler to future economic growth, poverty reduction and shared prosperity in Africa. They have the potential to create new business models and transform industries like agriculture, mining, e-commerce and health, saving lives by making medicines and vaccines reach the most isolated communities.

The African Drone Forum aims to transform the lower skies of Africa into a resource for sustainable mobility, promising efficiency, innovation and opening new opportunities for the population.

For this reason the World Bank is helping countries develop their potential and several of our projects already rely on drones for issues including managing flood risk to post disaster needs assessments, The African Drone Forum will help countries leapfrog into the digital economy and develop skills for 21st century jobs in Africa.

We are excited to see how the African Drone Forum is bringing together local and international stakeholders to accelerate Africa’s technology revolution, creating growth and development opportunities,”

Source: African Drone Forum

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