A tech company plan to launch 12,000 cargo drones in the world’s largest deployment.
German firm Wingcopter says the move will address insufficient infrastructure in many African regions; one of the biggest barriers to universal health coverage and economic development.
The partnership with Continental Drones covers all 49 sub-Saharan countries, with the roll-out goal scheduled for over the next five years.
Wingcopter also announced this month it has raised $42 million from investors, tripling the company’s total equity raise to more than $60 million to date.
The company explains: ‘Setting up large-scale drone delivery networks across African airspace will propel logistics in these countries to a new level and help build an entirely new transport framework – much faster, cheaper, more sustainable, and more efficient than the development of conventional ground-based infrastructure with all its unhealthy and climate-damaging emissions.’
Wingcopter says its technology will be deployed to improve delivery of items including on-demand medicines, vaccines, laboratory samples, as well as essential goods for daily use.
The fully electric Wingcopter 198 drone is also expected to contribute to a more sustainable African logistics sector and help move economies towards net zero emissions.
Alexander Asiedu, Founder of Continental Drones and Chairman of parent company Chairman of Atlantic Trust Holding, said: ‘Together with Wingcopter, we are committed to accelerate the development and economic integration of Africa by enabling the creation of drone-based delivery networks across the continent.
‘With our longstanding business experience on the ground and Wingcopter’s best-in-class drone technology, these networks offer a real chance to fuel economic development and help improve the livelihood of millions. African nations show true leadership by implementing this cutting-edge technology for the better of their people and generations to come.’
Tom Plümmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter, adds: ‘Wingcopter is well positioned to execute against the tremendous opportunity of drone delivery in the next decade.
‘We are convinced that our cooperation with Alex and his Continental Drones team will unlock the African drone delivery market on a large scale, allowing us to jointly improve and save millions of lives.’
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