Zambia plans to establish a Drone Center of Excellence which would act as a platform to create drone based solutions for commercial and research purposes, authorities say.
The Drone Centre of Excellence is envisioned to bring Zambia to the Center stage of the drone industry in the world, Ministry of Transport and Logistics Permanent Secretary, Fredrick Mwalusaka, said.
Mwalusaka said this during the closure of the European Union (EU) funded Aviation Sector Support Programme ll to Zambia (ASSP) which started in 2017 with a budget of 1.8 million Euros in Lusaka on Thursday.
He said the Center was envisioned to be a one-stop resource that would work in liaison with the industry to raise training standards and boost productivity.
“Drones offer formidable opportunities, from goods’ delivery to providing emergency medical assistance; supporting search and rescue missions or monitoring our critical infrastructure,” Mwalusaka said.
He said the Drone Center of Excellence would help to address emerging skill gaps and align training and research with industry needs.
Mwalusaka added that the demand for drone technology keeps on increasing globally and Zambia was not lagging behind.
“By adding drones into the transport mix, we will not only have less traffic congestion, but also fewer emissions,” he said.
Mwalusaka said Zambia was grateful to the European Union for its continued support through the series of European Development Fund.
He noted that the establishment of the Drone Center of Excellence was one of the achievements made under the European Union funded 11th – Aviation Sector Support Programme II to Zambia.
“Through this programme, the European Union has provided a grant to the tune of 5.6 million euros to the Zambian government,” Mwalusaka said.
He said out of the 5.6 million euros, 1.8 million Euros was dedicated to technical support to the Civil Aviation Authority through the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
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