Nigerian drone startup, Global Air Drone Academy (GADA) has been awarded the prize of $20,000 after emerging as winner of the first African Drone Business Challenge.
The startup was awarded the grand prize (N9,419,378) at the just-concluded African Drone Forum 2020 in Kigali. It is expected that the money would help the drone company finally establish its training academy permanently.
GADA defeated fellow Nigerian drone startup, Upshore Robotics and 8 other drone startups across Africa in a live pitching competition.
The startup also participated in a two-day boot camp facilitated by Seedstars.
Speaking on the award, the Development and Grants Manager for the Global Air Drone Academy, Jessica Brown revealed that the prize money will be used to construct a permanent drone training, education and research centre in Lagos.
Established in 2016 by a Nigerian, Eno Umoh and an American, Austin Brown, Global Air Drone Academy is an FAA-licensed drone training, education and consultation organizations. The startup is committed to building the next generation of professional drone pilots.
It provides STEM-based, hands-on learning experiences that expose youth and adults to the exciting world of drone technology.
Since inception, GADA says it has trained over 6,000 students in 400+ schools, and in 8 countries worldwide.
The growing use of drones in Africa
Over the past year, there has been an steady rise in the use of drones for commercial purposes in Africa.
In sub-Saharan Africa, about 500,000 die annually due to lack of access to blood. Healthcare delivery startup Lifebank and Camerounian health tech, Infiuss have thus partnered to leverage the use of drones to provide quick access to blood so as to reduce deaths caused by lack of blood.
Drones have also been employed in areas of security and surveillance. The Lagos State government recently procured about 5,000 drones to monitor the state’s waterways.
To further help the growth potential of drones in Africa there are programs like the African Drone Forum and Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC). These programs help to promote different commercial avenues for drone as well as demonstrate high potential for local impact.
The commercial potential for drones in Africa is high. With this new cash prize, Global Air Drone Academy is further empowered to train more local drone pilots that would help promote the revolution of drone use in Africa.
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