William Elong, a 25 year-old Cameroonian from the Will & Brothers company, is the first engineer to develop a drone entirely built in Cameroon.
Describing the drone to reporters in his Douala based office, Elong says it is a top range of up to 20 kilometres (12 miles). “The know-how is here, in Cameroon,” says Elong, who is aware young African talent often seeks employment in Europe and elsewhere. He says at this stage his firm’s capital of $200,000 (162,400 euros) has come from Western backers.
He revealed that the drones can be used for purposes as different as cartography, media coverage, support for agriculture and detecting gas in mines to reduce the risk of accidents.
Many Cameroonian officials have described Elong’s Made in Cameroon drone as a wonderful innovation. Cameroon’s Minister of Telecommunications, Minette Libom calls it as the pride of the country. “Will and Brothers’ design demonstrates “the innovative capacity of Cameroonian youth”, she added.
Elong says his firm is represented in Ivory Coast and plans to open offices in France and the United States, but however stressed the development of artificial intelligence as his his primary goal.
“Artificial intelligence is the future of humanity,” Elong says, confident that Africa can at least try to compete with the big tech giants in California. “It knocks me out that so many people here take no interest in technology.”
The young engineer says his dream with his innovation, is to present Africa as a place where IT and new tech can flourish.