Drones are more than cool gadgets. Across Africa, they are used to make a difference. In Tunisia, they will, for instance, be used to boost agriculture. Last year, eight Tunisian pilots have passed a drone flight training programme by the Tunisian government, the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park.
The prestigious trajectory focused on the handling, maintenance and security aspects of flying drones for the purpose of boosting the country's agricultural productivity and triggering rural development, particularly in the central Sidi Bouzid region. Across the world, drones are being used to capture and process data efficiently, helping to improve decision-making at all stages of a project, from preparation to implementation and evaluation.
The eight were the first batch out of 40 candidates selected for the exercise, which envisages training a total of 400 young Tunisians by 2021. The four best trainees from this first batch will undergo further training for eight weeks to accumulate 100 hours of flight time. This will make them eligible to take the certification examination and qualify as drone pilot trainers.
“It is very good training. I want to share my experience. I would like to participate in this project and contribute for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in my country Tunisia and my region, Africa,” said trainee Lazhar Meskine, an air traffic management engineer.
The project, which was financed by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) under the management of the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park, will also see the setting up of a training centre equipped with training drones as well as computer simulation tools for drone control. This center is expected to be upgraded to a center of excellence in drone technology. The training also focused on promoting drone-centered activities in Tunisia in view of promoting efficiency and effectiveness.
Source: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)