By Boris Esono Nwenfor
A prototype of a drone to monitor northern Cameroon’s borders has been created in Cameroon. Borel Teguia, a 25-years-old renewable energy engineer from Cameroon has created the device to assist the country monitor its Northern borders where attack on civilians by Islamist sect Boko Haram has been rampant in recent months.
As reported by Sputniknews, the young inventor described the advantages of this light “solar” drone over usual drones, especially in terms of its independence and flying time (from 1 to 2 hours compared to typical drones whose flying time amounts to half an hour).
“I studied in northern Cameroon, and saw many families forced to leave their homes because of the war; I told myself that something had to be done. There is nothing more horrible than war, and nothing more valuable than human life. I started working on this miniature device that could fly, make real-time videos and better monitor the Cameroonian borders. I wanted, so to speak, to give the Cameroonian sky an eye that would watch over its borders”, he noted.
Borel founded his own company, Тagus Drone and devoted himself exclusively to the development of his project, after working for several branches of the Electricity Development Corporation, EDC,
“I realised that there was a huge control issue all over the African continent. Drones could be a solution. Today, drones are involved in agriculture, telecommunications, health, cinematography, construction, art and culture. This is a boon for our company”.
“The drone weighs 700 grammes; it’s quite stable, which makes it easier to control it. It reaches a speed of 10 metres per second and can fly 150 metres above the ground. This solar drone can solve the problem related to the autonomy of existing models. Existing civilian drones have a relatively short flying time of between 30 and 45 minutes, limiting their scope in several areas. Our solar drone will be able to recharge during a flight from the Sun’s energy, thus allowing for 1 to 2 hours of flying time”, he explained.
To develop his project and sell the drone in the local and African markets, Borel Teguia launched a fundraising campaign in May 2019. At the moment, it is necessary to raise 500 million FCFA. “This crowd funding works very well because there are many investors interested in this innovative project. Over two months we have found more than 2,000 potential investors from more than 34 countries”, the Cameroonian engineer said.
“We have a strong demand on the continent, but there are very few manufacturers. In the end, Africans are forced to import drones and buy them at huge costs because the cost of transport and customs are added to the purchase price. The drone market is booming and we need to take advantage of it to develop local models.”
The Islamist sect Boko Haram has repeatedly conducted several deadly attacks in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria, where they are mostly based. Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled to Cameroon, Chad or Niger. The group killed over 6,600 in 2014. The group has carried out mass abduction including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, in April of 2014.