Category Archives: Africa

TED Talk Promoting Drones as Efficiency Model

This talk seems timely since Jeff Bezos grabbed the headlines lately because of a statement he made about Amazon using drones to deliver packages within four or five years.

Andreas Raptopoulos, in this TED talk which follows, is promoting drones for regions in Africa where there is no road infrastructure.

Demonstrating a drone delivery during the TED talk, he told us that a delivery of 2 kilograms traveling more than 10 kilometers would cost 24 cents, and the energy required for the same delivery would only cost 2 cents.

The drone “infrastructure” would cost far less than road infrastructure and would be designed based on ideas of the internet, also operating 24/7.

Making drone deliveries would have a low ecological footprint, and could also be applied to the urban areas, which are rapidly growing around the world, as a new layer of transportation.

As the camera panned the TED audience faces, people looked skeptical. Many minds were filled with questions, I’m sure, ethical and otherwise.

Like they say, the genie is out of the bottle. Looks unstoppable to me.

Finally, here is Amazon’s Prime Air drone method demonstrated in this 1-minute video, if you’re interested.

Geography Lesson: Just How Big is Africa?

This map of Africa was created by Kal Krause, who calls it a small contribution in the fight against rampant immappancy, a word meaning insufficient geographical knowledge.

For comparison, the U.S. including Alaska, has a land size that is only 32 percent of the size of Africa.

Next, let’s look at a map showing renewable water per capita in Africa. As you can see, water security in Africa varies greatly by country, but on average is scarce.

With a rapidly growing population, Africa faces water challenges in many of its countries, in both quantity and quality, and is expected to face more water difficulties with a changing climate. In addition, much of its soils are acidic, nutrient depleted, and desertified. Most African farmers are poor, lacking fertilizers, machinery, and infrastructure.

Yet, the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, known as a great food-insecure region, has seen a decline in its undernourished population in the past two decades, falling from 33 percent to 25 percent, according the the FAO. Agricultural author, Paul McMahon, believes that Sub-Saharan Africa has enormous potential to increase production, with more than 750 million hectares of suitable land that could be brought into production, and the potential to triple yields.

This large continent will be ground zero for agricultural development in coming decades.

Thank you to valued reader, Dave, who alerted me to this map of Africa.