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Last month, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) banned the use of unauthorized drones, disregarding great potential for technological advancement in a country that direly needs it.
It is critical that developing economies like Nigeria have the freedom to explore innovative methods of using drone technology. Before the ban, many Nigerian companies had ambitions to utilize drone technology in their operations and had begun to test its use in large mass. University students, too, had started to assemble drones and experiment with their potential applications. Thus, a number of Nigerian tech enthusiasts were disappointed with the NCAA’s action.
The government justified its preliminary ban in the name of national security and public safety, arguing that that widespread use of drones by aviation-ignorant citizens was a recipe for disaster. While there are certainly legitimate safety concerns surrounding drone technology, a unilateral ban on unregulated use is much too harsh a remedy.
“Unregulated” is an operative word; the NCAA did not completely prohibit drone technology. Companies who wish to be drone operators must have a minimum capital share of 20 million naira (about $100,000 USD) and pay a non-refundable processing fee of 500,000 naira (about $2,500 USD). Those two steps are just the beginning. After a company’s application is submitted, it must await security clearance – a process which takes at least six months. If a business is so lucky to receive a three-year permit, it will still be required to pay an annual utilization fee of 100,000 naira ($500 USD). By contrast, it costs a mere $5 USD (about 1,000 naira) to register a drone in the United States. Continue Reading
In a desperate attempt to avoid criticism, members of the Kenyan Parliament have resorted to attacking the press.
Kenyan journalists are being forced to endure costly lawsuits or withhold the truth, and as a result, the Kenyan press is gradually being suppressed.
A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) provides an insight into the current situation in Kenya. After interviewing more than a dozen journalists, and reviewing published accounts, the CPJ found that Kenyan reporters, editors, and publishers are exposed to threats of violence, prosecution, imprisonment, and the withdrawal of crucial advertising revenue. The media is manipulated by dominant corporations, and news outlets are subject to the whims of their politician-owners, and the publishers who want to cozy up to power.
Read the rest on YourCommonwealth here.