In Nigeria, a group of local experts has launched Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub to meet and foster the demand for digital entrepreneurship. The newly formed Flying Labs team is applying their expertise in drones, drone data, and geographic information systems (GIS) to empower local businesses and smallholder farmers. Already, the team has trained 100 youth in Ondo State in smart farming techniques and drone technology. In the months to come, it will organize additional training sessions and reach even more people, each of whom in turn has the power to generate exponential impact. Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub is proud to build on the expertise of the global network of “Flying Labs” partners all around the world. It is equally pleased to use its unique knowledge to help Nigeria’s most innovative future entrepreneurs take flight.
So, what is Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub? A regional hub of expertise and innovation, it works collaboratively with local communities to build skills and to give individuals the tools they need to succeed. It was formed as an alliance between Orbital Solutions Global Services Limited, which focuses on GIS, YUAVI Technologies Limited, a company specializing in aerial imaging, and the Ondo State Office of Innovation and Partnerships. This partnership is built upon a shared commitment to the best operational practices and the highest data standards. Within the scope of the alliance, YUAVI Technologies provides additional drone services and public sector partnerships while ION offers enterprise and human capital development to drive sustainability of drone service commercialization. The goals of the partnership with YUAVI Technologies Limited and ION include building local skills of digital entrepreneurs, catalysing businesses and creating demand for the skills of digital entrepreneurs. Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub is led by Managing Director Adewale Adegoke, an expert in how geospatial technologies and data can catalyze economic opportunities for both the public and private sectors.
And what exactly does Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub do? They empower local communities to excel in a rapidly changing modern era. Take those 100 youth who attended the team’s first training. By its conclusion, they were equipped to use drones to improve agriculture and, very soon, the Labs will build on this success to train an additional 50 youth in the same techniques, mentoring them to become digital entrepreneurs and to incorporate drones into e-extension services.
Once these skills are employed outside the classroom, Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub scales humanitarian impact. They build partnerships between the public and private sectors, uniting key actors for a common goal. Together, the Labs and their partners incubate innovative ideas on how to interpret drone data for social good. F surveying and mapping local land to improve agriculture to human capital development, the Labs achieves quantifiable outcomes for its beneficiaries.
Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub is dedicated to catalyzing new business and empowering local businesses. How? By mentoring digital entrepreneurs to partner with public sector agencies and generating demand for their skills in a sustainable business environment. To do so, the Labs uses its “droners’ platform” to establish market linkages between drone pilots and potential clients.
Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub is the latest in a string of such labs generating impact across the globe by harnessing technology for social good. However, while it builds on the success of its predecessors around the world, the team and the community that surrounds Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub has proved itself unique. Already, there has been tremendous excitement among local entrepreneurs to learn the skills to build their businesses and benefit their communities. Over the coming months, be sure to track their progress—and watch Nigeria Flying Labs South West Hub soar.