Zipline, the leading global drone delivery company, announced last week a new partnership with the Rwanda Government that aims to complete nearly 2 million instant deliveries and fly more than 200 million autonomous kilometres in the country by 2029, reports a press release. 

Under this collaboration, “Rwanda will triple its delivery volume by adding new delivery sites in rural and urban locations throughout the country, and opening up Zipline’s service to other government entities,” states the release. “In doing so, Rwanda is bringing innovative and environmentally friendly logistics and delivery to the country, and it will be the first country in the world with the ability to make autonomous instant deliveries to its entire population.” 

What began with blood six years ago, medical products now include medicine, medical supplies, nutrition and animal health products, supporting the country’s financial, e-commerce and tourism industries. Today, any Governmental agency from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, the Rwanda Development Board, the Rwanda Medical Supply, to the National Child Development Agency, can use Zipline’s instant logistics and delivery system.

Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, commented, “With this new agreement, we’ll be incorporating Zipline into many aspects of our national operations from providing a reliable healthcare supply chain, to addressing malnutrition.” Adding, “Rwanda is an innovation hub and we’re thrilled to be the first country in the world to launch a national drone delivery service.”

Zipline distribution centres in Muhanga and Kayonza, deliver 75 percent of the country’s blood supply outside of Kigali. More than 400 hospitals and clinics get blood, medication and the supplies they need within minutes of ordering, offering the ability to treat both everyday medical conditions and emergencies.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, using data from Rwandan public hospitals, found an 88 percent reduction of in-hospital maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage as a result of Zipline’s logistics and delivery system. More mothers are alive because they were at a medical facility that used Zipline’s delivery network. 

Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice President and Head of Zipline’s Africa business and operations, remarked, “Instant logistics has saved thousands of lives and is solving some of the world’s most important problems – hunger and malnutrition, road congestion and environmental pollution, and lack of access to healthcare.”

He added, “We are honoured to expand our relationship with our first customer to support additional sectors of government and create more impact together.” 

The release continues, “This year alone, the Ministry of Agriculture delivered more than 500,000 doses of animal health vaccines and more than 8,000 units of swine semen to vets and farmers, using Zipline. Access to animal husbandry products has increased the fertility rate among farmers using Zipline deliveries by 10 percent, compared to the national average. Farmers can raise more pigs with a healthier genetic profile, grow their businesses, and ultimately provide better access to protein for communities and improve population health.”


Zipline currently operates on three continents and completes an instant delivery on behalf of businesses and governments every two minutes. To date, the company has delivered more than 450,000 packages, 4.5 million products, and flown more than 30 million autonomous miles. Each flight produces about 30 times less CO2 emissions per mile than an average electric vehicle and up to 98 percent less CO2 emissions than a combustion engine vehicle, according to company estimates.

The company uses its instant logistics system to globally support the medical, health and retail sectors, delivering blood, vaccines, COVID supplies, prescriptions, e-commerce, retail items and food and general products that support both human and animal health.

For more information

(images: Zipline)