With decision EX.CL/Dec. 986-1007 (XXXII), the African Union (AU) has established one of the most important incentives for its member states – to use drones to boost Africa’s development and accelerate transformation on the continent. Indeed, drones have been used to solve many development problems in the fields of agriculture, health, infrastructure monitoring, surveying, and soil mapping, among others, and have the potential to find further applications.
In spite of this promising incentive, progress has not been made in terms of harmonizing regulations around Africa’s drone use. As of July 2019, for example, 60% of African countries still did not have regulations in place, or simply restricted the use of the technology. In some countries, such as Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, drone users do refer to official regulations that guide their operations. Other countries, such as Mali and Mauritania have some reference to drones in their aviation regulations; Egypt and Libya, on the other hand, have banned their use altogether.