IMF director Christine Lagarde touts Zipline’s use of drones for medical supplies in Rwanda

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mrs Christine Lagarde, has lauded the Rwandan Government’s decision to employ the use of drone technology to supply blood and other essential medical supplies to her citizens.

According to Mrs Lagarde, the use of drones and other technological innovations are essential if sub-Saharan African countries are to take advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is being fuelled by technology.

Mrs Lagarde, who was speaking at the IMF-organised Conference on “The Future of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa” in Accra on Monday 17th December, 2018, said the impending population explosion in Africa, which is expected to make the continent the most populous in the next 30 years, called for the application of technology to create jobs and meet other challenges.

The IMF boss had high praise for Ghana’s Farmerline, which helps farmers to grow more and earn more on their produce, and Zipline in Rwanda, which employs drone technology to complement the country’s health delivery system.

“Sub-Saharan Africa successfully harnesses new technologies and creates an emerging vibrant middle class. Right here in Ghana, is Farmerline, an innovative agrotech company.

“It is not only happening in Ghana, and it is not only happening in agriculture. Look for instance at Zipline in Rwanda, which uses drones to deliver blood and medical supplies to remote health facilities.”

Mrs Lagarde’s comments come in the wake of some opposition to the Ghana Government’s plan to employ similar drone technology to supply emergency medical supplies and blood to remote communities, to complement ongoing efforts to make such communities more accessible.

This international recognition of the need to leverage technology to ensure greater efficiency should put to rest any questions about the propriety of saving lives through the use of drone technology.


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