Zipline and Government of Rwanda announce new partnership to serve entire country with drone delivery services

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)

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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