Jumping the gap ~ Canada should help

rwanda-09There is a fascinating article in the Financial Times about technology in Rwanda (yes, Rwanda!) being used in an attempt to jump the development gap.

Zipline, a Silicon Valley start-up, has forged a partnership with the [Rwandan] health ministry; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the UPS Foundation, to deliver medical supplies to rural health centres” … it’s all “part of President Paul Kagame’s vision to use http---com.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonawstechnology to help Rwanda — which has an annual per capita GDP of $675 — reach middle-income status within the next decade.

There’s nothing wrong with the technology, as noted elsewhere, “Google, Amazon, DJI and scores of other companies are building their drone businesses in the U.S. and China. The heavyweights have leaned hard on American and Chinese regulators, because of course they want to operate in the world’s two biggest markets.” Starting in Rwanada makes good technical; sense … the civilian air traffic control problem is tiny; succeeding in Rwanda is more problematical because it is a poorly governed and corrupt place, but stranger things have happened.

The business of “jumping the development gap” was, probably, best illustrated by the use of modern wireless technology to move from the mail and letterbox level of communications to the 21st century without having to go through all the pain of laying copper and/or fibre cables. Microwave and satellite links and satellite distribution of TV signals and cell phones and WiFi solved all that …

… remotely operated vehicles, of various kinds, will help others ~ even Rwanda ~ to jump other development gaps.

Canadian industrial (and foreign) policy should be encouraging Canadian companies to develop and exploit new technologies in innovative ways in in less developed countries and in less developed regions of Canada, too. We have the technology, it can be adapted to suit the needs of others.

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