The Institute of Applied Sciences (INES-Ruhengeri) has become the first university in Rwanda to adopt to the use of drones in research and mentoring students.
Some students and drone experts and villagers gathered under a clear cloud in Busogo this Friday in an open field close to the university campus to flag off a Rwf26 million drone from Charis Company ltd.
Pictures taken by the Rwandan custom – made drone are expected to improve research work for students studying soil management topography and conducting a research project on Geospatial Technology Innovations for Land Tenure Security in East Africa (it4land).
All eyes and heads were up in the sky as the drone was set off by Teddy Segore, a Charis certified drone pilot to make sure their product functions well.
Dr. Fabien Hagenimana the University Rector said that testing the drones’ ability to take good pictures will improve skills of students at Musanze district-based campus.
“We believe that drone photos are very clear compared to the satellite images and those taken in 2008 inside a plane-which we have been using here to study the soil topography,” Dr. Hagenimana said, once we process the images we shall be able to prove the difference.”
The new drone is expected to be used in Land survey and Land administration Management studies and assist the community to improve land consolidation programs and mapping with drones.
Introduction of drone science at INES Ruhengeri was implemented under a project “It’s For Land” in collaboration with the University of Louvain, University of Twente Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, KULeuven, Hansa Luftbild AG, Bahir Dar University, Technical University of Kenya and ESRI Rwanda Ltd- a world leader in GIS (geographic information system) modeling and mapping software and technology.
So far one Rwandan lecturer, Engineer Placide Nkerabigwi from INES Ruhengeri is undergoing training in drone science and operations in France under the same project.
INES Ruhengeri students say that the drone skills will help leveraging their competitiveness on the current job-market.
Drone business is new to Rwanda and Africa. Currently drones are used for delivering medical supplies at the first drone port in Africa located in Shyogwe sector in Muhanga district, which was launched by President Paul Kagame on October 14, 2016.
At the launch event President Kagame has said that Rwanda is determined to invest more because it is convinced that technology will address the country’s challenges of the future and this will only be possible by working with good partners.
“The aviation sector is becoming very important to Rwanda that is why we are investing into aero technology. Rwandans have learned to embrace innovation, especially when it is clear that it can help us solve the challenges we face,” Kagame said.