First African drone accelerator program launched in South Africa 

Mzansi Aerospace technologies

South African-based Mzansi Aerospace technologies have launched Africa’s first startup accelerator program on unmanned aviation technology. They have partnered with Royal HaskoningDHV, an engineering consultancy, to create this new programme. 

The launch took place at Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and will begin with 13 start-ups. They will receive direct training, skills, and operational tools. The widespread adoption of drone technology is great way of bolstering employment and improving productivity. 

The accelerator will train the enterpreneurs with business skills, as well as artificial intelligence and data analytics courtesy of Royal HaskoningDHV, a global engineering firm. The accelerator is has attracted support from partners such as the National Youth Development Agency, Small Enterprise Development Agency, United Drone Holdings, and the City of Ekurhuleni.

Drone technology is highly popular in South Africa. Based on the Rocketmine state of drone report 2018, there might be anything from 40,000 to 50,000 drones in operation. 

Mzansi is closely working with accredited training organizations (ATO’s) to skill the next generation of drone pilots and drone technicians in Africa. Their primary area of focus will be on agriculture, mining, security, infrastructure, law enforcement, maritime, and smart cities. 

The accelerator boasts of fully established partners in the fields of construction and security, an assuring sign to its organizers. Victor Radebe, the founder of Mzansi Aerospace Technologies said, “One of its key tenets is that start-ups often fail because they ignore the voice of the customers and remain preoccupied with their solutions.” A trend they are willing to avoid by equipping their entrepreneurs with the tell-tale skills to focus on customer demands rather than rigid operational business models. Mzwandile Masina, the mayor of Ekurhuleni expressed optimism and gratitude over the launch of the programme in his state. 

Working under the banner of finding the next generation in unmanned technology, the African owned aviation start-up accelerator seeks to support the careers of budding young innovators in the field. 

You can find out more about Mzansi Aerospace technologies here.

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