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Nigerian insights on the aerospace industry across Africa – MEST Africa

On November 8, 2018, MEST Africa and Innocircle took to Lagos to arrange a conversation with crucial experts around the impact of the aerospace market in Nigeria. The meetup was an extension of the #Africa 4Future Effort, a joint acceleration programme launched by Airbus BizLab and GIZ Make-IT in Africa.

The event consisted of a panel with tech stakeholders in the Nigerian drone industry: Odionye Confidence, Founder of Beat Drone; Emmanuel Ezenwere, Creator of Arone; Diekoye Oyeyinka from Zipline; and Ndubisi Arinze Eze, Founder of AM Integrated & Plane BizLab alumnus.After the Meetup, we caught up with Odionye, Emmanuel and Ndubisi to get their points of view on the aerospace industry in Nigeria and in Africa. 

Tell us about your company and your experience in Nigeria in the aerospace industry.

Arinze Ndubisi Eze: Aerial Industries is a drone manufacturing business specialising in agriculture drones as well as air taxi principles both for emerging economies. Nigeria being its existing business area, maintaining a focus & discovering its government’s needs helps us much better take part in all tiers of the worth chain– not only in our core service locations– in effectively managing the whole ecosystem for a better tomorrow.

Emmanuel Ezenwere: Arone is an aerial logistics business based in Nigeria. We deliver medical products to main healthcare centers(PHCs)along with transport test samples from these PHCs to central laboratories to offer ease of access to early diagnosis and important medical supplies.

Confidence Odionye: Beat Drone is a multi-sector drone service company. We implement drones for organisations and federal government parastatals in Agriculture, Oil & Gas and Infrastructure; with an overall goal to lower the expense of operations and increase revenue for these services and organisations. Beat Drone is Nigeria’s primary Drone Provider, and we are positioning ourselves for Pan-Africanism.

In your opinion, what are the most crucial qualities/resources for a brand-new start-up to have when getting in & the aerospace industry?

EE: First, you require a strong team, with a balance of technical and business expertise. Then you wish to make sure you have simple access when it concerns manufacturing or purchase of accessories. Finally, you require a regulative support.

CO: For me, the main qualities to have are perseverance and understanding of the industry. You need to employ the best team and have your remote pilot license.

ANE: Due to the fact that of its high level of risk and capital intensity, there is zero tolerance for complacency in aerospace. We think about human capital as an important element for any nation’s aerospace development. This requirement, our company believe, ought to be put even before infrastructure and natural deposits. Skills in repair work and upkeep, amongst others, must be cultivated at the utmost level in order for a growing industry to be obtained. The continent as a whole can grow in commercial, energy-efficient and eco-friendly transformations with boosts in personnel and skills development.

What industries in Africa are prepared for innovation from the aerospace innovation? E.g agritech, healthcare, transport, etc.

CO: I think the sectors in Africa that are all set for development are: Farming, Logistics, Building And Construction, Mining, Solar Power, Telecommunication, Oil & Gas.

ANE: Aerospace tech can enhance services in numerous sectors in the economy of many nations in Africa, I believe. From healthcare logistics, mapping to city preparation and interactions, many young innovators are using their engineering abilities to help reinforce the requirements in different fields to the worldwide standard for countries on the continent.At Aerial Industries, our core interests today remains in getting Agriculture expert some training in operating drones for increased field mechanisation as well as information gathering on crop and soil to help alleviate the endemic concern of unpredictability in crop yield.

EE: My choice of markets would be based on the present development made in aerospace technology, requirement( existence of a problem), & effectiveness of application of aerospace technology to market and, last and least, regulatory support.The key developments in aerospace innovation, which likewise includes adoption of current advances in synthetic intelligence, consist of: flight autonomy, sensor blend, hybrid airplanes, miniaturized avionics, high energy density batteries, 3-d printing and the accessibility of better materials such as Carbon fiber polymer.

Finally, where do you see the aerospace market in Africa in the next ten years?

CO: I anticipate to see the use of traveler drones, where individuals can fly an individual drone to their office, leisure, etc.

ANE: From satellite innovations, to aerial robotics to rocket and airplane design and advancement, Africa has a location in all the facets of aerospace. Through the existing efforts in STEM application in schools and other similar programs in Africa, Africa can rise to becoming a powerhouse in the industry due to its growing youth group. The curious minds and able-bodied, youthful larger population, if motivated, can leapfrog a number of Africa’s difficulties by developing African content in this highly competitive space of aerospace across the world.

EE: As for me, I see an extremely intense future for the aerospace industry in Africa, especially in the locations of Logistics, Farming & Remote Sensing. The call for applications for the Plane Bizlab Aerospace #Africa 4Future Obstacle are now closed. We received applications from over 300 African startups. Keep watching to see the leading 10 finalists, who will be formally announced during kick-off in Nairobi in January 2019.

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