Jumia Managing Director Sam Chappatte. He says Jumia may start using drones to deliver goods to clients. [Photo: Business Daily]
Online retailer Jumia Kenya will test the use of drones for delivery of goods during the first quarter of 2018.
The move comes only a month following the gazettement of Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations 2017 by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authorities.
The regulations are aimed at allowing Kenyans to use drones for filming and photography, sports, other private and commercial activities.
If successful, this will mean that fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, groceries and other products will be delivered using drones.
"Next year in Q1, we will try. Realistically it’s not a viable solution at this point due to its complexity, however, we will pilot it and see how it works out before adopting it in maybe two or three years to come," Jumia Managing Director Sam Chappatte says.
While this poses as a disruption to the distribution sector, Chappatte outlined challenges such as existing and upcoming skyscrapers in the city, regulations, security and the high rate of mobility among Kenyans as part of the key challenges inhibiting drone adoption in the country, reports the Wednesday Star.
This will be the first time for drones to be used for commercial purposes in the country, reports the Star.
If successful to adopt drone technology in the distribution of products around the country, Kenya will join a list of at least four other African countries that use drones for service efficiency.
The countries include Rwanda which uses drones to transfer drugs and blood to transfusion centres across its health facilities, Malawi, which uses drones to transfer HIV tests to and from around rural areas, and Morocco which uses the drones to monitor illegal maritime authority.