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We are delighted to announce that the UK Department for International Development through Ideas to Impact has joined forces with the Regional Government of Mwanza, Tanzania, and the World Bank, to support the Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC). Other partners include UNICEF, World Food Programme and World Economic Forum.

Today, the Lake Victoria Challenge also opens online registrations for its inaugural Flying Competitions.

The LVC explores the potential of unlocking Africa’s lower skies as a mobility resource. Envisioned to be the first event of its kind in Africa, it focuses on emerging transport technologies that can leapfrog the continent’s infrastructure deficit and address its public health and mobility challenges with a visionary, safe and scalable solution.

According to World Bank estimates, Africa needs to spend $38 billion more each year on transport infrastructure, plus a further $37 billion on operations and maintenance to sustain its current levels of development. A significant financing deficit lies between Africa's reality and the mobility that it both needs and aspires to. Only 34% of Africa's population is within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road.

This is more than just a mobility issue. Road accidents are the continent’s third biggest killer, making this also an issue of public health.

Mwanza’s drone corridor is nestled between an airport and large, hard-to-reach communities, making the LVC an ideal rehearsal for real-world operations and risk assessment. Moreover, it is the first programme that integrates drones into the full ecology of an existing supply chain, and brings together users, operators, community stakeholders and government.

'The Lake Victoria Challenge aims to support existing infrastructure and improve access to healthcare and other income generation opportunities for the rural island communities in and around Mwanza. A drone network would significantly improve access to these communities, which are often marginalised and connected only by boat. To effect real change, we are supporting the gathering of key government and regulatory stakeholders with global and local innovators in real world environments and are encouraged by the interest, support and progress that we have made to date.'

 Hon. John Mongella, the Regional Commissioner of the Mwanza Region

The LVC Flying Competitions

LVC is composed of a three Flying Competitions, an Expo and a Symposium that will showcase advances in autonomous cargo delivery that can make a difference for isolated, rural communities.

The LVC Flying Competitions, which are Emergency Delivery, Sample Pick-Up, and Find and Assess, are planned to take place between 25 and 30 November 2019 in Mwanza, Tanzania. They will take the form of a series of real-world scenarios between Juma Island in Lake Victoria and a temporary droneport in Mwanza City. Teams can register to compete in more than one competition.

There are three phases to apply for the LVC Flying Competitions. The first phase involves completing an online registration form to explain how your drone system meets the different eligibility criteria for one of the three LVC Flying Competitions. This online registration form can be found on the LVC website:

The submission deadline is April 25, 2019 midnight (GMT).

Competition teams that successfully move onto phase two will be asked to virtually demonstrate how their drone can address specific user cases. Further details around this phase will be announced in April 2019.

Shortlisted teams will be invited to compete in phase three, which are the LVC Flying Competitions. They are planned to take place between 25 and 30 November 2019, in front of an international panel of judges.

Competitors will also be invited to showcase their technology at the LVC Expo and Symposium, which is scheduled for 3-5 December 2019 in Mwanza, Tanzania. In addition, a separate registration process will be available for static displays and out-of-competition demo flights for the LVC Expo and Symposium.

For more information about the LVC and to register for the LVC Flying Competitions, please visit

Contact information

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Alex Scoines at

For more information on the Lake Victoria Challenge, please contact

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